We have a page where folks can contact us privately, Take A Stand | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org). Here is a question we got.
Hello, I am a concerned parent. I have written to BOS Candland, Vega and Lawson on many issues. However nothing is being done to stop CRT in our schools, taxes were raised. I tried to find out if a forensic audit could be done on our paper ballots from the 2020 election etc. What can be done?
Of course, Candland, Vega and Lawson are the three Republicans on Board Of County Supervisors (pwcgov.org), and CRT is Critical Race Theory (What is the critical race theory, and how should a Christian view it? | GotQuestions.org). Since Critical Race Theory is abhorrent nonsense, I share this parent’s alarm, but I don’t have an easy answer. Good government is difficult work, and it takes a well educated people with high moral standards to achieve it.
So, I wondered. How should I answer this question from a concerned parent? I have never implemented a constitutional republic. What do I know? Well, I know something about people who did implement a constitutional republic, and I know we each need to understand what the people who founded our country did, how they did what they did, and why. So, let’s consider a small sample of their work.
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.The Bill of Rights: A Transcription | National Archives (First Amendment)
When we talk about the First Amendment, we usually focus on first three rights in the list: freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. We usually have almost nothing to say about the last two, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. If these rights are not worth mentioning, why are they in the First Amendment?
The men who wrote our Constitution well understood what they were doing. Without the right to peacefully assembly freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom of the press become individual rights and not especially useful. By ourselves we are relatively weak. It is in numbers we have strength, especially with respect to the power of the government. If the government can stop us from gathering and organizing, it can prevent us from practicing our religious beliefs, speaking to each other, and writing to each other. Without the ability to freely assemble and ASSOCIATE with each other, government can render our first three rights largely meaningless. This is one reason the COVID-19 lockdown has been so disastrous.
Similarly, we need the right petition the Government for a redress of grievances to protect freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. How does that work? The right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances most certainly gives each of us the right to take our problems with our government to court.
The Supreme Court recently stated that the Petition Clause “protects the right of individuals to appeal to courts . . . established by the government for resolution of legal disputes.” Borough of Duryea, Pennsylvania v. Guarnieri (2011). In a vigorous dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that the Petition Clause applied only to Congress and the Executive, and that the idea that it also applied to the courts came solely from dicta from late twentieth-century Supreme Court cases. The executive branch (including for these purposes the independent regulatory agencies), which traditionally would have had the option of replying to petitions, may arguably also have the obligation to respond to petitions when, in the modern administrative era, it is exercising judicial-like functions.The Heritage Guide to the Constitution
What was Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent about? If we look at the history of the right to petition the government, it has a broader application. Essentially, we don’t have to wait for the news media to question our leaders. We each have the right to do so, and when we assemble in large numbers our leaders find it difficult to ignore us. They know we can use the rights to peacefully assemble and clearly state our grievances as the basis for organizing politically. When we organize behind our own candidates, we can throw those who would ignore our rights out of office.
So, what is the right answer for a concerned parent? Because good government requires lots of work, I don’t have a simple answer. I don’t even have just one answer, but I can point to our history and answers that have worked.
The founders of this nation created the first constitutional republic. Because we are short-lived, and we have lived in the United States all our lives, we find it difficult to appreciate what America’s founders accomplished. Imagine, however, you were a French aristocrat living in the 1830’s. The United States was still new then, and the American people had just begun their quest to span the North American continent from sea to sea. What was it like? What would you have seen?
When Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859) came to America to study its penal system, he found himself amazed. The product of a continent ruled by monarchs, he was dumbfounded to find a people who could rule themselves. So, he got a horse, rode around the country, talked to people, read our laws, and took notes. Then, he went back to Europe and described what he had learned. That is Democracy in America Vol. I and Vol. II, and it is a fascinating read. If you want to appreciate what we have lost, what Americans use to be like, then read what de Tocqueville wrote.
So, what is the key lesson here? That concerned questioner has questions about the schools, taxes, and election fraud. What can be done? Tomorrow? Not much. It took decades for the people of the United States to reach the point where we are now seriously considering Socialism as a possibility. It will probably take awhile to reverse what is essentially a moral decline. Because we have allowed ourselves become so inept at controlling our leaders, we cannot properly stop them from doing things they should not be doing.
Can we recover from this decline? Don’t know. I just know we each have a contribution. And that contribution begins with a personal commitment.
- The first thing we must each do is protect and properly educate our children. We must remember the many of the people who came to America were Christians seeking religious freedom. To raise their children in their own beliefs, the Pilgrims, for example, boarded a small wooden vessel and journeyed thousands of miles. Then they struggled to remain alive in a strange land. Because schools are still run at the state and local level, we must fight tooth and nail to elect state and local officials who support parental control and school choice.
- To ensure that we properly educate our children, we must properly educate ourselves. Consider the two most common complaints about our public schools. They have thrown out God, and they do an awful job of teaching civics. Because most of us are the product of these public schools, we cannot just complain about the public schools. We must also fix the educational deficit within ourselves. That requires our participation in Bible study. In addition, we must educate ourselves in civics. We must take advantage of the numerous free public resources available at websites like LibriVox | free public domain audiobooks and Hillsdale College Online Courses.
- To protect our children and our rights, we must voluntarily and vigorously participate in politics. Because we have a constitutional republic, we are the government. When we don’t show up to get the job of government done properly, we allow scoundrels to take over the task of government for their own benefit. Hence, the fundamental lesson of any decent civics lesson is that good citizens must associate with and work with each other to make OUR government work. That means we each must volunteer both our coin and our time to help the people we want in public office get into public office. To work with others, we must join an existing political party or start our own.
So, what is my answer? Well, my answer is for all of us, not just one concerned parent. My answer is that we must stop procrastinating. We must stop doing NOTHING! We stop waiting for someone else to do something, for someone else to provide the answer. Because this task requires ALL OF US, we must all get to work doing what we can.
The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do NothingThe Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing – Quote Investigator
What once made Americans so unique? There was a time that Americans were a people who demanded that the right to be responsible for their own lives so that each of them could serve God as their consciences demanded. Now too many of us expect someone else — some so-called expert — to tell us what to think and what to do. Now we do NOTHING except what some so-called experts tell us to do.
- Interpretation: Right to Assemble and Petition | The National Constitution Center
- Rights of Assembly and Petition :: First Amendment — Religion and Expression :: US Constitution Annotated :: Justia
- The Heritage Guide to the Constitution
- Freedom of Petition – Bill of Rights Institute
- Assembly and Association – Bill of Rights Institute
- First Amendment | U.S. Constitution | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)
- Political Association. | U.S. Constitution Annotated | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)
- RIGHTS OF ASSEMBLY AND PETITION | U.S. Constitution Annotated | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)