Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 1, 2014

LETTERS FOR JAN. 1, 2014: The answer remains 1776

Goshen News

---- — The Associated Press reported that some were shocked recently when President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Why should two communists shaking hands at the eulogy for another communist surprise anybody? Birds of a feather flock together.

Speaking of communists, dictatorial tyrants throughout the ages have always sought to usurp legitimate law and become a law unto themselves. And what we see happening in America today is no different. We have an executive branch that is out of control. Expanding upon the many unconstitutional policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for the rule of law.

What exactly is the rule of law? Simply put, the rule of law is the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Not the president. Not the Congress. And certainly not the Supreme Court. We owe our allegiance to the government insofar as the government obeys the Constitution. When the federal government steps outside the purview of the Constitution, it is incumbent upon we the people to ignore (i.e., nullification), and if necessary, resist the government.

The government derives its power from the people, not the other way around. We’re not merely subjects here to serve the state. The state was instituted to protect our natural and God-given rights. In other words, we are sovereign — not the government. They work for us.

Our forefathers fought a war against tyranny in their day. And If it comes down to it, many of us are willing to do it again. The “Spirit of 76” is still alive and well in this country. We need to stand against tyranny no matter what form it takes: Republican or Democrat. As somebody once said, “the answer to 1984 is 1776.”

— Chad Maurer


Put money into schools, not prisons

In an Associated Press article titled “Lawmaker offers up bill tough on crime” (The Goshen News, Dec. 29, 2013) it states, “An Indiana lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would require judges to add 20 years onto the prison sentences of people who use a firearm while committing a violent crime.”

I believe that a majority of scholars and professors would reject that out-of-date approach to criminal justice. A federal study of this issue, published in 1973, states, “To deal with crime we need to deal with poverty and racism.”

Because the current prison system is so harmful to those incarcerated, the least number of citizens incarcerated and for the least amount of time is for the benefit of society.

The United States locks up more people proportionally than any other nation in the world. The Indiana Constitution states that the purpose of the prison system is for “reformatioin, not vindictive justice.”

The $30,000 a year it costs in Indiana to incarcerate a person would be better spent in our school system, especially in programs for troubled young people.

— Rev. Charles E. Doyle

Michigan City, Ind.