“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.”
– Proposed 9/25/1789; Ratified 12/15/1791
The U.S. Constitution is possibly the greatest document ever drafted this is singularly the most important statement as related to Satanism, the freedom to practice our faith.
In the debates of the Constitutional Convention, religion did not get a lot of sound bites. It should be noted that without exception, the Framers were Christian or, at the very least, believed in God (Deism). There were no Jews or Satanists, Muslims, no Hindus or Atheists, and only two Roman Catholics.
There were members of more than a half-dozen sects of the Protestant side of Christianity, though. Disagreements about style and method of worship between them were nearly as vast and incongruous as any seen today between, say, Jews and Muslims, such that the Framers wanted to ensure that no one sect could ever seize control of a government and start a theocracy.
James Madison, when speaking of the method and manner of the election of the members of the Congress, noted that even “Religion itself may become a motive to persecution and oppression,” telegraphing his own desire for no religious test for government service.
He had been a prime mover in the efforts of some Virginia lawmakers to ensure that no preference be given to any religion in that state, and that a proposed tax to aid religious efforts be defeated. Madison and one of the Pinkney cousins moved, in the waning days of the Convention, that the Congress be permitted the power to establish a university, with the express stipulation that “no preferences or distinctions should be allowed on account of Religion.
” The motion was turned down on a six to four vote, but it was another illustration of his desire to extend no preference to any religious sect.
This establishment of separation rings true today and should be honored in its complete form over several decades challenges have made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court and failed in the stature to change this beautiful document.
However many have challenged Satanism’s Practice failing to adhere to the Superior Document:
By: Breanne Porter
Issue date: 9/16/02
In August, the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) had a startling revelation — that preceding summer, prisoners had begun holding weekly satanic worship services that were a part of the religious calendar for Green River, a medium-security prison.
As soon as the Kentucky DOC learned of this, it ordered the prison to suspend services in order to develop a statewide policy concerning these services. The policy Kentucky needs to enact is one in which prisoners are able to worship the religion they choose, even Satanism, and Kentucky need not restrict the prisoners of their fundamental right of freedom of religion according to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Those opposed to allowing satanic services argue that the religion promotes beliefs that jeopardize the security of the prison and the safety of the prisoners. In Texas, the DOC does not allow satanic worship services based on that fact.
According to an article in The Daily Telegraph, a London newspaper, Texas prison chaplain Donald Kaspar said, “We’ve looked at the satanic bible and are convinced that what it advocates would put our prisons at risk. One of their tenets is revenge: if somebody hurts you, hurt them back.”
Any person familiar with the Christian Bible knows the Bible also advocates a type of revenge. The Book of Exodus promotes the theory of revenge with the words, “but if there is (any further injury) you shall appoint (as a penalty) life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound.
” The Christian Bible argues the same belief as the satanic bible. Therefore, if satanic worship is not allowed, it is hypocritical of the DOC to allow Christian worship services.
According to an Associated Press article, manager of government affairs for the American Correctional Association Joe Weedon said, “under federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions, correctional institutions must allow inmates to exercise their religious freedom, unless the practice of the recognized religion threatens the safety of other inmates or the staff.
” It could be construed that having Christian worship services could endanger the prison staff and the inmates. Yet the DOC does not find anything wrong with the Christian worship services.
The inmates of the Kentucky prison have the very same rights to have satanic worship services as do any other religions. It is because the religion is not as widespread as others that it comes under scrutiny.
It cannot be argued that this belief is more threatening than another. In a similar case in 1995 against the Texas DOC, the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas, Jay Jacobson said, “Religious freedom, the ability to choose one’s own spiritual path, is at the core of our basic American liberties,” according to an ACLU news release.
The freedom to practice a chosen religion is protected by the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment says the government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
While it is prudent for the DOC to be concerned about the safety of the inmates and staff, there have not been any incidents in which the exercise of the satanic religion has caused safety and security problems for the Green River prison.
Therefore, the DOC has no legal basis for not allowing the worship services to continue. Only in the presence of actual incidents sparked from these beliefs does the DOC have the right to restrict the free exercise of this religion, and such criteria has not been met.
It is from our founding fathers’ fear of religious oppression that the First Amendment was ratified. It is not for society to decide which religions are acceptable and which are not.
If the people practicing the religion harm the lives of others, is it reasonable for the government to restrict prisoners from practicing the religion. However, the prisoners in Kentucky have not threatened the lives of others and deserve the right to practice their religion.
The Kentucky DOC needs to heed the First Amendment and allow the prisoners to continue to practice their religion of choice. The Constitution and Bill of Rights protect religious freedom for not only the majority, but for the minority, including the prisoners in Green River prison.
I am in agreement with this writer and have seen other instances where Satanic Worship been denied or challenged by in direct disregard of the U. S. Constitution.
Two inmates serving life sentences at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola filed a lawsuit claiming officials have denied them the chapel space and equipment necessary to observe their religion of Satanism.
The matter remains unresolved however the inmates can possess Satanic Books and assemble in a non organized manner.
It seems that no one is allowed to preform prayer to Satan, but it is expected that Satanic Americans will be violated by Liberal Atheists, such evidence can be seen as numerous municipalities lean towards the voices of Atheism.
Fact: It is not a violation of the First Amendment to place a Christmas Tree up in the public square as long as there no mandates that allow for the said tree to be the only symbol allowed by the municipality.
Even today’s Satanist, mostly the “garden variety” Modern Satanist as I define “pseudo” will banter with definitions and words penned straight from Atheism, and are granted more rights to practice than the Real Satanists however you must be aware we are protected by the Constitution also.
This writer along with many are involved in legalization of Traditional or Theistic Satanism, thus affording you the rights granted to all other religions, these rights will mean nothing if you remain silent, or fail to join the causes in motion now.
More violations on what we can build, talk about and gather in will be pushed upon The Real Satanists until we stand for something and agree as a group of American’s to uphold our rights but in a legalized way.
Just think we as Real Satanists have the rights granted for freedom is simplistic and, it is not we cannot receive our full rights until we are a recognized legal compacted religion, right now we are a “conceptualized religion” and fail to realize that we are not protected like Modern Satanism.
Real Satanism has different customs and practices that are being defined as our numbers grow and people come, we will in the future be able to shape decisions and offer protection under the U.S. Constitution.
When the Founders of The Constitution designed it they designed the perfect protection document to the rights of Free Religion, they could have easily placed into the ideologies of Presbyterianism or Quaker by-law, but no they designed it just what it was for Freedom.
SANTA FE, N.M.— A New Mexico inmate has sued saying prison officials have violated his freedom of Constitution and bend it to their ways of Atheism against Satanism, Christianity and even other religions not so well known.
As Satanists we need to hold the U.S. Constitution in “high regards” as it allows us to practice our rites, even animal sacrifice in the process of devotion to The Lord Master Satan.
Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies located a site in the Old Town area last week they are categorizing as a “meeting place” or “site of interest” because of several unusual items located there.
Neighbors reported seeing suspicious activity by teenagers dressed in black or “gothic” attire. The teens were seen entering and leaving private property in a rural area of Old Towne through a barbed wire fence.
The Sheriff’s department contacted the property owner to verify if the activity was authorized, which the property owner denied.
Sheriff’s deputy Roy Scott said that the sight, “is definitely something of interest.”
Aside from the issue of trespassing on private property, a great deal of work has been done on the land, for what appears to be some form of ritualistic gathering.
There is a large pit, with a fire ring at the bottom and some sort of stadium seating carved into the sides of the pit. It resembles an ancient amphitheater.
Across from the pit is a stone fire ring in the shape of a pentagram. Although associated with Satanic worship, a pentagram has been used by different cultures and religions throughout history.
There are also several animal skulls and bones on the site and a tree carved with a pentagram and an inverted cross. Sharks teeth are embedded at each tip of the pentagram. A beheaded skunk was found near one of the fire pits and a meat cleaver laying nearby the mutilated creature was confiscated by deputies.
Scott said, “It took a lot of effort and work.”
The sheriffs are making routine checks of the site but have not yet encountered anyone on the property.
Scott said evidence found in the area does indicate recent activity, but currently the Sheriff’s Department classifies the location only as a gathering place, or “place of interest.”
Behaviors such as this are required but currently we are afforded very little in the way of Freedom of Religion because technically very few if any organizations are legally recognized as an religion by the courts, and authorities.
We as Satanists need to realize that the United States is in turmoil, and this turmoil is further presented by those who desire to change Constitutional Freedoms, everything from Religion to Right to Bear Arms and Overthrow the Government.
Lets just visit Saudi Arabia for a minute and see the Constitution of this country, so get a better perspective on just how wonderful we have it under the U.S. Consitution.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; God’s Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, God’s prayers and peace be upon him, are its constitution, Arabic is its language and Riyadh is its capital.
Imagine if our Founding Fathers who mostly were Quakers and Presbyterians said all of us would follow some rule of law based on their faith.
Citizens are to pay allegiance to the King in accordance with the holy Koran and the tradition of the Prophet, in submission and obedience, in times of ease and difficulty, fortune and adversity.
Government in Saudi Arabia derives power from the Holy Koran and the Prophet’s tradition.
Again it appears we have many more rights and should appreciate those rights however legalization will be required to insulate ourselves not under the banner of Modern Satanism but under the banner of Traditional or Theistic or even Real Satanism, this work is underway.
In some countries Satanism is fighting back in Africa a recent publication expanded upon Satanism.
When President Chiluba endorsed Zambia as a Christian nation soon after the MMD came to power in 1991, some people voiced their opposition to such a declaration.
Soon, however, the criticism died out and the Christian community in Zambia went full throttle in its efforts to spreads the faith. Recent developments in the country, however, point to the Christians facing a new form of resistance – Satanism.
Early this year, a couple of youths in the densely populated province of the Copperbelt claimed that a group of Satanists was operating under-ground and recruiting members at a rate that called for concern.
They said they had been part of the group but decided to pull out of it because they realised that devil worshipping was wrong.
No one paid much attention to the two youths’ revelation but three months on, another confession was made by another young woman in Lusaka who disclosed that faith in Satan was growing in the capital and that the Satanists were on an aggressive campaign to outwit the spread of Christianity.
More revelations as to the existence of devil-worship have been made over recent weeks and now Christians are beginning to take the issue more seriously, calling for concerted efforts to counter Satanism.
Some of those who have broken away from the Satanist groups contend that there is a deliberate plan by the Satanists to take over the country by infiltrating various key organisations, business, the judiciary, the political field and even the church.
“This message first came in February,” says Christian Unity Ministries (CUMI), national secretary Timothy Situmbeko of the alleged plot by Satanists to take over Zambia and destroy Christian institutions in Zambia.
“We hesitated to tell the people about it, but continued to pray. Then early this month it was repeated.” He added that there had been at least one Satanist planted in some of the many born-again churches in an effort to derail the Christian faith and cause divisions.
Africa Church of God leader, Bishop John Mambo agrees that there is a plot to destroy Christianity in Zambia.
He contends that many cults have been formed in the disguise of churches and already deep divisions are beginning to show among the Christians.
Police spokesman Standwell Lungu says that there is no law that would bar Satanists from practising their faith, but the concern of many Christians is that the devil’s faith is said to include human sacrifices.
Some reformed devil worshipers have claimed that the drinking of human blood is part of a major ritual that Satanists have to practice.
For now, however, no one has come out in the open yet to confess that he or she practices Satanism. And those that claim to have belonged to the faith have not quite been able to expose those still practicing the faith.
For many Christians, however, this is not an assurance that Satanism is not a serious threat.
“Christians must be ready for attacks from the devil,” Zambia Episcopal Conference Secretary General, Father Ignatius Mwebe says.
“The Church as a body has to fight the prince of darkness. We are his first target. Goodness is always the target of evil.” Bishop Mambo also said that the mushrooming of cults was getting out of hand he wanted government to scrutinize all the churches to prevent church wars that could destroy Christianity in the country.
Recent months has seen an increased number of divisions in various churches, resulting in splinter groups forming up to follow their own methods of prayer. Bishop Mambo fears that if such divisions were allowed to continue, cults could emerge and Christianity could become vulnerable to devil worshipers.
The Satanists are said to be very selective in their recruitment of members.
According to a young woman who recently broke away from the devil’s faith, some Satanists operate from Christian churches from which they recruit their members. She said that those in social or financial problems were often the main targets for recruitment.
Some political parties too are concerned about the increased reports of Satanism. The National Democratic Party (NDP) recently stated that the MMD government was not doing enough to curb the spread of Satanism.
NDP Copperbelt Province chairman Isaac Chileshe said that government should investigate increasing reports of Satanism taking root in Zambia. The party contends that the seeds of Satanism were being planted by foreigners and it demands that the government deports those involved.
Police spokesman Lungu says action against Satanists can only be taken if there is evidence that some of their practices were, by Zambian laws, illegal. He said that investigations had been instituted on some of the charges made by reformed Satanists but that no evidence had yet come to light on which the police could base a prosecution.
For some Christians, the solution to curb the spread of Satanism is in prayer. The Baptist Church in Lusaka, for instance, has embarked on special prayers for those who may have drifted into Satanism.
It is hoped that the power of prayer will help redirect them to Christianity. But with the Zambian constitution categorical that Zambia would be tolerant of other religions, there is little much else Christians can do but pray that the Christian faith will overshadow Satanism.
This is pretty sad that as Satanist’s in America we are “big and bad” but do nothing even to spread fear in the hearts of those in any other religion meanwhile the average Satanist fails to study or even practice Satanism with a common goal or even attempts to understand the right to worship Satan.
Informed Lawmakers could therefore prove examining the facts that the worship and practice of Real Satanism or Theistic Satanism has no rights granted due in part to the fact they are not a recognized religion, being a technicality but a all so important technicality.
So the court does interpret Satanism as philosophical religion and does it grant it certain rights under the First Amendment this factoid is appreciated, however could be also damaging in the future when liberals examine the facts that most Satanic Religions are simply created by people over the Internet.
So is not the case of The Temples of Satan project, along with several others we will eventually codify the Theistic Satanic, Traditional Satanic movement for those to truly have legal protection under the U.S. Constitution, albeit the Atheists
I am aware of such and have heard as many of you of the deaths of thousand of dedicated to Satan and Satan has been fully aware that there are those who desire to mute or practices, but I understand and so should you that we require a level of legalization and this is for the protection of those who practice and enjoy Satan in their lives.
Satanism requires some form of legalization and through such we shall expose the false and fake cults that permeate Satanism, before some lofty Atheist interprets the Constitution, against us in some court room.
Arguments could be raised on the reality and resemblant philosophies of any world religion, this in a whole can make Traditional Satanism as any religion unstable in the ever changing world.
Honor those who serve to protect our rights for there are Satanists also engaged in fighting wars to protect the Greatest Nation in The Free World.
The time has come to end the innuendos and false claims and become real, not only for oneself but for this country which is made up coast to coast of many different peoples and religions, that tie in directly or indirectly to worship of Satan, this right of practice is falling under a simplistic umbrella at the moment but perhaps someday it will collapse, and then Satanists will fail to enjoy such rights granted as Atheists come forward attacking everyones principles in the court system.
We all come from difference places and come to this path and in such you should be able soon to feel safe to practice and worship Satan, for it is us that are the rulers of the realm of Earth, as described in biblical texts Satan was provided life upon the Earth.
The great Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.
Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.
Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself.
Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
However recently several political leaders have stepped forward and abused this great mans interpretation of the “Greatest Document In The Known World.”
The granting of one’s freedom of religion and freedom of speech does not allow them to violate other races and idealism, this piece is neither racist, however it does shed some light on damaging ideologies that could warp our country.
When Al Gore ran for president in 2000 he said “our Constitution is a living and breathing document” that changes its meaning over time. This week we learned that among the things changing in Gore’s Constitution is the war power. It meant one thing when Bill Clinton was president, but means another thing now.
Seven years ago, then-Vice President Gore supported Clinton in launching a war Congress didn’t authorize.
Now, he says the Constitution denies President Bush the power merely to intercept an enemy’s communications in and out of the U.S.–without permission from a federal judge–in the midst of a war Congress did authorize.
The program in question has been described by Gen. Michael Hayden, principal deputy director for national intelligence, as yielding information about terrorists that could not have been gleaned through court-ordered wiretaps, while intercepting only international communications involving persons linked to Al Qaeda.
Yet, on Monday, Gore described the program as “eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens” and claimed it “virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law, repeatedly and insistently.”
While the liberal ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights are bringing lawsuits against the program, Gore is calling for a special counsel to investigate Bush.
Now flash back to 1999–the year when only a failed Senate impeachment prosecution stood between Gore and the presidency.
On March 23, 1999, President Clinton ordered U.S. forces to begin bombing Yugoslavia because of its treatment of people in Kosovo.
Clinton bombed for three months. The day the war started, then-White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart was asked whether Clinton believed congressional support was “constitutionally necessary.” Lockhart said, “Well, I don’t think he believes it’s constitutionally necessary because we don’t believe that.”
Congress, in fact, declined to authorize it. The Senate voted 58 to 41 for a resolution “authorizing the President of the United States to conduct military air operations and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.” But the House defeated the resolution, 213 to 213.
Gore aggressively backed Clinton’s unauthorized war, suggesting its critics were guilty of “politics.” “I think the American people want to see politics removed from any kind of action where our military forces are involved overseas,” he said on the April 2, 1999 edition of CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
Was the Clinton-Gore Kosovo War constitutional? No.
I have argued this before, citing Louis Fisher’s Presidential War Power, the Framers unambiguously denied the President the power to initiate offensive military action.
But as Framers James Madison and Elbridge Gerry, authors of the war-powers clause, explained at the Constitutional Convention, they did leave “to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks.”
In the Founding era no one doubted Congress needed to approve any act of war beyond what was necessary for the President “to repel sudden attacks.”
In the 1801 case Talbot v. Seeman, involving a ship seized as a war prize, Chief Justice Marshall explained: “The whole powers of war being, by the Constitution of the United States, vested in Congress, the acts of that body can alone be resorted to as our guides in this inquiry.
It is not denied, nor in the course of the argument has it been denied, that Congress may authorize general hostilities, in which case the general laws of war apply to our situation; or partial hostilities, in which case the laws of war, so far as they actually apply to our situation, must be noticed.”
Was Clinton repelling a sudden attack on the U.S. when he bombed Yugoslavia? Even Gore never claimed that.
In the war against Al Qaeda–including his order for the NSA to intercept al Qaeda-linked communications in and out of the U.S.–was President Bush acting either under a congressional war authorization or his own authority to repel sudden attacks?
He was doing both.
After 9/11, Congress authorized the President to make war against “those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks.”
If this authorized the President to invade Afghanistan, surely it authorized him to intercept communications between the U.S. and suspected terrorists in Afghanistan.
But even if Congress hadn’t authorized a war, it is reasonable to conclude the President could intercept Al Qaeda-linked communications in and out of the U.S. even in circumstances where a court-order could not be secured.
Surely, the President’s authority to repel sudden attacks includes the authority to listen at our frontier for sounds from the enemy.
But–at least so long as there is a Republican in the White House–it seems that Gore’s “living and breathing” Constitution would put earplugs in the sentries who guard the border between us and the next 9/11, along with those who have became educated on the facts and not the Liberal “talking points.”
Agree with the war or disagree, the United States must protect the U.S. Constitution and its originality, and with such the Constitutional Ideologies should never be lost.
Often times in Satanism people support the ideologies of Anarchy and such ideologies should face suppression since they are aimed at being somewhat leaned towards Communism and upheaval of the general system the U.S. Constitution set forth in its contents.
Imagine if a “Living Constitution” was allowed:
Imagine if the Muslims were granted more laws and freedom to act in case against their religion, such as they have verses the Yezidi’s of Iran and Iraq.
The suicide bombings that ravaged the Yezidi sect in Iraq underscored the fears of violence and insecurity binding many of the nation’s religious minorities, ranging from Christians who are fleeing their ancient enclaves to a dwindling sect that follows the teachings of John the Baptist.
The various religious groups – which in total account for no more than 3 percent of the population – increasingly worry that they will be caught helplessly in the battles between the majority Shiite and Sunni factions or, as in the case in Tuesday’s attack, directly targeted by extremists.
“Minorities have historically inhabited areas that are disputed, that lie at the fault lines of the other communities,” said Mark Lattimer, executive director of the London-based Minority Rights Group.
The Yezidi, said Lattimer, have a double curse.
They live in a strategic corridor between Mosul, the chief city in northern Iraq, and the borders of Turkey and Syria. The area could become increasingly coveted territory for the insurgent group Al-Qaida in Iraq, which appears to be seeking to retrench in northern Iraq after being driven from strongholds in and around Baghdad by U.S.-led offensives.
The group is blamed for the series of four suicide truck bombings that claimed at least 250 lives in the Yezidi town of Qahataniya in the deadliest attack on civilians since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Yezidi also are often scorned by Muslims as infidels for their blend of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic faith of Persia. The Yazidi – mostly ethnic Kurds – date their beliefs back 4,000 years and worship an angel figure, Malak Ta’us, or Peacock Angel, who is considered to be the devil by some Muslims and Christians. Yazidis, who don’t believe in hell or evil, deny the characterization.
The Islamic State in Iraq, an Al-Qaida front group, distributed leaflets a week ago warning residents near the scene of Tuesday’s bombings that an attack was imminent because Yezidis are “anti-Islamic.”
Small communities of Yezidis can be found in Syria, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, but the majority of the estimated 100,000 believers live in Iraq.
Most Yezidis, even young people, choose to live in isolated communities, though they often face extreme poverty.
Lattimer said that while Saddam Hussein would target minority groups if it suited his political objectives, these small sects were generally left alone.
Since the 2003 invasion, however, the minorities have been least able to protect themselves, he said.
Many minorities groups have chosen to flee – threatening to cripple communities whose roots stretch back thousands of years.
The Sabean Mandaeans, a pre-Christian sect that follow the teachings of John the Baptist, now numbers about 5,000 in Iraq, down from an estimated 25,000 in early 2003, according to testimony by Suhaib Nashi, general-secretary of the Mandaean Associations Union, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in July.
As many as 50 percent of Iraq’s Christians – which once numbered between 1 million and 2 million – may already have left the country, according to a report issued in May by the commission. Christians are at particular risk as perceived supporters of the United States and its Western allies, said a Minority Rights Group report.
The Jewish community, which is also accused by extremists of sympathizing with U.S. troops, has a long history of persecution in Iraq, which has prompted several waves of emigration, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Lattimer said it is difficult to calculate their current numbers because they mostly do not want to draw attention, but they comprise a “very, very small residual community.”
Only eight Jews remain in Baghdad, said an Anglican clergyman, the Rev. Andrew White, who has aided the group. About a century ago, Jews accounted for one-third of the city’s population as recently as a century ago.
We can only hope that this form of cleansing could never occur in the United States perhaps the Christians or Muslims would attack the Satanist, and a weakened Constitution or government could cause such maladies to occur.
Indirectly or Indirectly the Yezidi are our brothers and sisters and I banefully hate the Islamic Fundamentalist for attacking those who differ in beliefs.
Even in Satanism group attempt to persecute other groups however under The U.S. Constitution we are granted the following and I include this report from an attorney interpreting this.
Madison’s version of the speech and press clauses, introduced in the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, provided: ”The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.”
1 The special committee rewrote the language to some extent, adding other provisions from Madison’s draft, to make it read: ”The freedom of speech and of the press, and the right of the people peaceably to assemble and consult for their common good, and to apply to the Government for redress of grievances, shall not be infringed.”
2 In this form it went to the Senate, which rewrote it to read: ”That Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and consult for their common good, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
3 Subsequently, the religion clauses and these clauses were combined by the Senate.4 The final language was agreed upon in conference.
Debate in the House is unenlightening with regard to the meaning the Members ascribed to the speech and press clause and there is no record of debate in the Senate.
5 In the course of debate, Madison warned against the dangers which would arise ”from discussing and proposing abstract propositions, of which the judgment may not be convinced. I venture to say, that if we confine ourselves to an enumeration of simple, acknowledged principles, the ratification will meet with but little difficulty.”
6 That the ”simple, acknowledged principles” embodied in the First Amendment have occasioned controversy without end both in the courts and out should alert one to the difficulties latent in such spare language. Insofar as there is likely to have been a consensus, it was no doubt the common law view as expressed by Blackstone.
”The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press: but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity.
To subject the press to the restrictive power of a licenser, as was formerly done, both before and since the Revolution, is to subject all freedom of sentiment to the prejudices of one man, and make him the arbitrary and infallible judge of all controverted points in learning, religion and government.
But to punish as the law does at present any dangerous or offensive writings, which, when published, shall on a fair and impartial trial be adjudged of a pernicious tendency, is necessary for the preservation of peace and good order, of government and religion, the only solid foundations of civil liberty.
Thus, the will of individuals is still left free: the abuse only of that free will is the object of legal punishment. Neither is any restraint hereby laid upon freedom of thought or inquiry; liberty of private sentiment is still left; the disseminating, or making public, of bad sentiments, destructive to the ends of society, is the crime which society corrects.”7
Whatever the general unanimity on this proposition at the time of the proposal of and ratification of the First Amendment,8 it appears that there emerged in the course of the Jeffersonian counterattack on the Sedition Act9 and the use by the Adams Administration of the Act to prosecute its political opponents,10 something of a libertarian theory of freedom of speech and press,11 which, however much the Jeffersonians may have departed from it upon assuming power,12 was to blossom into the theory undergirding Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence in modern times.
Full acceptance of the theory that the Amendment operates not only to bar most prior restraints of expression but subsequent punishment of all but a narrow range of expression, in political discourse and indeed in all fields of expression, dates from a quite recent period, although the Court’s movement toward that position began in its consideration of limitations on speech and press in the period following World War I.13 Thus, in 1907, Justice Holmes could observe that even if the Fourteenth Amendment embodied prohibitions similar to the First Amendment, ”still we should be far from the conclusion that the plaintiff in error would have us reach.
In the first place, the main purpose of such constitutional provisions is ‘to prevent all such previous restraints upon publications as had been practiced by other governments,’ and they do not prevent the subsequent punishment of such as may be deemed contrary to the public welfare . . . . The preliminary freedom extends as well to the false as to the true; the subsequent punishment may extend as well to the true as to the false.
This was the law of criminal libel apart from statute in most cases, if not in all.”14 But as Justice Holmes also observed, ”[t]here is no constitutional right to have all general propositions of law once adopted remain unchanged.”15
But in Schenck v. United States,16 the first of the post-World War I cases to reach the Court, Justice Holmes, in the opinion of the Court, while upholding convictions for violating the Espionage Act by attempting to cause insubordination in the military service by circulation of leaflets, suggested First Amendment restraints on subsequent punishment as well as prior restraint.
”It well may be that the prohibition of laws abridging the freedom of speech is not confined to previous restraints although to prevent them may have been the main purpose . . . . We admit that in many places and in ordinary times the defendants in saying all that was said in the circular would have been within their constitutional rights.
But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. . . . The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”
Justice Holmes along with Justice Brandeis soon went into dissent in their views that the majority of the Court was misapplying the legal standards thus expressed to uphold suppression of speech which offered no threat of danger to organized institutions.
17 But it was with the Court’s assumption that the Fourteenth Amendment restrained the power of the States to suppress speech and press that the doctrines developed.18 At first, Holmes and Brandeis remained in dissent, but in Fiske v. Kansas,19 the Court sustained a First Amendment type of claim in a state case, and in Stromberg v. California,20 a state law was voided on grounds of its interference with free speech.
21 State common law was also voided, the Court in an opinion by Justice Black asserting that the First Amendment enlarged protections for speech, press, and religion beyond those enjoyed under English common law.
22 Development over the years since has been uneven, but by 1964 the Court could say with unanimity: ”we consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”
23 And in 1969, it was said that the cases ”have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
24 This development and its myriad applications are elaborated in the following sections. The First Amendment by its terms applies only to laws enacted by Congress, and not to the actions of private persons.
Supp.15 This leads to a ”state action” (or ”governmental action”) limitation similar to that applicable to the Fourteenth Amendment. Supp.16 The limitation has seldom been litigated in the First Amendment context, but there is no obvious reason why analysis should differ markedly from Fourteenth Amendment state action analysis.
Both contexts require ”cautious analysis of the quality and degree of Government relationship to the particular acts in question.” Supp.17 In holding that the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) is a governmental entity for purposes of the First Amendment, the Court declared that ”[t]he Constitution constrains governmental action ‘by whatever instruments or in whatever modes that action may be taken.’. . . [a]nd under whatever congressional label.”Supp.18 The relationship of the government to broadcast licensees affords other opportunities to explore the breadth of ”governmental action.”Supp.19
[Footnote 1] 1 Annals of Congress 434 (1789). Madison had also proposed language limiting the power of the States in a number of respects, including a guarantee of freedom of the press, Id. at 435. Although passed by the House, the amendment was defeated by the Senate, supra, p.957.
[Footnote 2] Id. at 731 (August 15, 1789).
[Footnote 3] The Bill of Rights: A Documentary History 1148-49 (B. Schwartz ed. 1971).
[Footnote 4] Id. at 1153.
[Footnote 5] The House debate insofar as it touched upon this amendment was concerned almost exclusively with a motion to strike the right to assemble and an amendment to add a right of the people to instruct their Representatives. 1 Annals of Congress 731-49 (August 15, 1789). There are no records of debates in the States on ratification.
[Footnote 6] Id. at 738.
[Footnote 7] 4 W. Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England 151-52 (T. Cooley 2d rev. ed. 1872). See 3 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States 1874-86 (Boston: 1833). The most comprehensive effort to assess theory and practice in the period prior to and immediately following adoption of the Amendment is L. Levy, Legacy of Suppression: Freedom of Speech and Press in Early American History (1960), which generally concluded that the Blackstonian view was the prevailing one at the time and probably the understanding of those who drafted, voted for, and ratified the Amendment.
[Footnote 8] It would appear that Madison advanced libertarian views earlier than his Jeffersonian compatriots, as witness his leadership of a move to refuse officially to concur in Washington’s condemnation of ”[c]ertain self-created societies,” by which the President meant political clubs supporting the French Revolution, and his success in deflecting the Federalist intention to censure such societies.
I.Brant, James Madison–Father of the Constitution 1787-1800, 416-20 (1950). ”If we advert to the nature of republican government,” Madison told the House, ”we shall find that the censorial power is in the people over the government, and not in the government over the people.” 4 Annals of Congress 934 (1794).
II. On the other hand, the early Madison, while a member of his county’s committee on public safety, had enthusiastically promoted prosecution of Loyalist speakers and the burning of their pamphlets during the Revolutionary period. 1 Papers of James Madison 147, 161-62, 190-92 (W. Hutchinson & W. Rachal eds. 1962). There seems little doubt that Jefferson held to the Blackstonian view. Writing to Madison in 1788, he said: ”A declaration that the federal government will never restrain the presses from printing anything they please, will not take away the liability of the printers for false facts printed.” 13 Papers of Thomas Jefferson 442 (J. Boyd ed. 1955). Commenting a year later to Madison on his proposed amendment, Jefferson suggested that the free speech-free press clause might read something like: ”The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write or otherwise to publish anything but false facts affecting injuriously the life, liberty, property, or reputation of others or affecting the peace of the confederacy with foreign nations.” 15 Papers, supra, at 367.
[Footnote 9] The Act, Ch. 74, 1 Stat. 596 (1798), punished anyone who would ”write, print, utter or publish . . . any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute.” See J. Smith, Freedom’s Fetters–The Alien and Sedition Laws and American Civil Liberties (1956).
[Footnote 10] Id. at 159 et seq.
[Footnote 11] L. Levy, Legacy of Suppression: Freedom of Speech and Press in Early American History, ch. 6 (Cambridge, 1960); New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 273-76 (1964). But compare L. Levy, Emergence of a Free Press (1985), a revised and enlarged edition of Legacy of Suppression, in which Professor Levy modifies his earlier views, arguing that while the intention of the Framers to outlaw the crime of seditious libel, in pursuit of a free speech principle, cannot be established and may not have been the goal, there was a tradition of robust and rowdy expression during the period of the framing that contradicts his prior view that a modern theory of free expression did not begin to emerge until the debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts.
[Footnote 12] L. Levy, Jefferson and Civil Liberties–The Darker Side (Cambridge, 1963). Thus President Jefferson wrote to Governor McKean of Pennsylvania in 1803: ”The federalists having failed in destroying freedom of the press by their gag-law, seem to have attacked it in an opposite direction; that is, by pushing its licentiousness and its lying to such a degree of prostitution as to deprive it of all credit. . . . This is a dangerous state of things, and the press ought to be restored to its credibility if possible. The restraints provided by the laws of the States are sufficient for this if applied. And I have, therefore, long thought that a few prosecutions of the most prominent offenders would have a wholesome effect in restoring the integrity of the presses. Not a general prosecution, for that would look like persecution; but a selected one.” 9 Works of Thomas Jefferson 449 (P. Ford, ed. 1905).
[Footnote 13] New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), provides the principal doctrinal justification for the development, although the results had long since been fully applied by the Court. In Sullivan, Justice Brennan discerned in the controversies over the Sedition Act a crystallization of ”a national awareness of the central meaning of the First Amendment,” id. at 273, which is that the ”right of free public discussion of the stewardship of public officials . . . [is] a fundamental principle of the American form of government.”
Id. at 275. This ”central meaning” proscribes either civil or criminal punishment for any but the most maliciously, knowingly false criticism of government. ”Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this Court, the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the court of history. . . . [The historical record] reflect[s] a broad consensus that the Act, because of the restraint it imposed upon criticism of government and public officials, was inconsistent with the First Amendment.” Id. at 276. Madison’s Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and his Report in support of them brought together and expressed the theories being developed by the Jeffersonians and represent a solid doctrinal foundation for the point of view that the First Amendment superseded the common law on speech and press, that a free, popular government cannot be libeled, and that the First Amendment absolutely protects speech and press. 6 Writings of James Madison, 341-406 (G. Hunt. ed. 1908).
[Footnote 14] Patterson v. Colorado, 205 U.S. 454, 462 (1907) (emphasis original). Justice Frankfurter had similar views in 1951: ”The historic antecedents of the First Amendment preclude the notion that its purpose was to give unqualified immunity to every expression that touched on matters within the range of political interest. . . . ‘The law is perfectly well settled,’ this Court said over fifty years ago, ‘that the first ten amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights, were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government, but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors, and which had from time immemorial been subject to certain well-recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case.
In incorporating these principles into the fundamental law there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions, which continued to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed.’ That this represents the authentic view of the Bill of Rights and the spirit in which it must be construed has been recognized again and again in cases that have come here within the last fifty years.” Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 521-522, 524 (1951) (concurring opinion). The internal quotation is from Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U.S. 275, 281 (1897).
[Footnote 15] Patterson v. Colorado, 205 U.S. 454, 461 (1907).
[Footnote 16] 249 U.S. 47, 51-52 (1919) (citations omitted).
[Footnote 17] Debs v. United States, 249 U.S. 211 (1919); Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919); Schaefer v. United States, 251 U.S. 466 (1920); Pierce v. United States, 252 U.S. 239 (1920); United States ex rel. Milwaukee Social Democratic Pub. Co. v. Burleson, 255 U.S. 407 (1921). A state statute similar to the federal one was upheld in Gilbert v. Minnesota, 254 U.S. 325 (1920).
[Footnote 18] Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925); Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927). The Brandeis and Holmes dissents in both cases were important formulations of speech and press principles.
[Footnote 19] 274 U.S. 380 (1927).
[Footnote 20] 283 U.S. 359 (1931). By contrast, it was not until 1965 that a federal statute was held unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965). See also United States v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967).
[Footnote 21] And see Near v. Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697 (1931); Herndon v. Lowry, 301 U.S. 242 (1937); De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U.S. 353 (1937); Lovell v. Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938).
[Footnote 22] Bridges v. California, 314 U.S. 252, 263-68 (1941) (overturning contempt convictions of newspaper editor and others for publishing commentary on pending cases).
[Footnote 23] New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964).
[Footnote 24] Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444, 447 (1969).
[Footnote 15 (1996 Supplement)] Through interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the prohibition extends to the States as well. See discussion on incorporation, main text, pp. 957-64.
[Footnote 16 (1996 Supplement)] See discussion on state action, main text, pp.1786-1802.
[Footnote 17 (1996 Supplement)] CBS v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94, 115 (1973) (opinion of Chief Justice Burger).
[Footnote 18 (1996 Supplement)] Lebron v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 115 S. Ct. 961, 971 (1995) (quoting Ex parte Virginia, 100 U.S. 339, 346-47 (1880)). The Court refused to be bound by the statement in Amtrak’s authorizing statute that the corporation is ”not . . . an agency or establishment of the United States Government.
” This assertion can be effective ”only for purposes of matters that are within Congress’ control,” the Court explained. ”It is not for Congress to make the final determination of Amtrak’s status as a governmental entity for purposes of determining the constitutional rights of citizens affected by its actions.” 115 S. Ct. at 971.
[Footnote 19 (1996 Supplement)] In CBS v. Democratic Nat’l Comm., 412 U.S. 94 (1973), the Court held that a broadcast licensee could refuse to carry a paid editorial advertisement. Chief Justice Burger, joined only by Justices Stewart and Rehnquist in that portion of his opinion, reasoned that a licensee’s refusal to accept such an ad did not constitute ”governmental action” for purposes of the First Amendment. ”The First Amendment does not reach acts of private parties in every instance where the Congress or the [Federal Communications] Commission has merely permitted or failed to prohibit such acts.” Id. at 119.
The freedom of religion and speech cannot be taken lightly and recently a doctrine in which Ronald Wilson Reagen possibly the Greatest U.S. President since Abraham Lincoln fought back:
In 1959 Congress amended the Communications Act of 1934 to enshrine the Fairness Doctrine into law, rewriting Chapter 315(a) to read: “A broadcast licensee shall afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of conflicting views on matters of public importance.”
This doctrine allowed for those who practiced filtration of the media, and who desired to allow everyone fair speech by allowing them equal air-time, however this is against the theory of Capitalism, because if one desires to preach or speak on the opposing viewpoint then go by a radio station and broadcast all the ideologies you desire.
This is the important part in the ruling by The Supreme Court.
It is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail, rather than to countenance monopolization of that market, whether it be by the government itself or a private licensee.
It is the right of the public to receive suitable access to social, political, esthetic’s, moral and other ideas and experiences which is crucial here. That right may not constitutionally be abridged either by Congress or by the FCC.
The idea that Liberal Media has to be allowed to be provided equal air time under Capitalism is Anti-Constitutional and should remain dead, since they can purchase a radio station.
Stop stepping on our Constitution people!
Pagan, Christians, Satanist’s, and anyone else take away the Constitution and all you have is Chaos, and despite the drive of some in Satanism, Chaos is not a positive ideology and to many of you it is detrimental to our cause.
Hail The Lord and Master Satan
Grand Magister Blackwood