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Entries in Freedom (3)


David Bates Has A Right To Freedom of Religion and Free Speech Without Being Maligned By Democrat Hacks

By Rep Steve Vaillancourt

First a caveat.  I don't agree with Rep. Bates on the gay marriage issue.

However, like every other American, he has the right to both freedom of speech and freedom of religion.  If Democratic spokeshack Harrell Kirstein and  Peter Burling (who seems only too willing to crawl out from under his rock to offer an opinion no matter how ill-informed he may be), had their way, only members of their own party would be given freedoms of speech and religion.

Hey, Herr Kirstein, hey Comrade Burling, our forefathers fought for our freedoms so that we could all enjoy them, not just those who agree with us.

Burling is particularly misinformed when he says the GOP leadership has promised to "stay away from faith-based legislating" and deal with the budget shortfall.  I believe what GOP leadership has said, and both the Speaker, Senate President and Majority Leader restated this on my television show this week is that they would focus first on fiscal issues, not that they totally stay away from other issues.  Two years ago, Dems insisted that we could do a budget and deal with gay marriage at the same time.  They were right, and Republicans are right to say now we can deal with the budget and gay marriage repeal (which I will oppose).

To see Burling and Kirstein make fools of themselves nationwide is bad news for NH.  If you don't believe me, Google this topic and check out what a Las Vegas paper has to say about it.

This isn't the first time Ray Buckley's Dems have shown littler regard for free speech.  Remember how Buckley and then Speaker Norelli forced Rep. Tim Horrigan to resign for an innocuous comment he made regarding Palin last summer.  Free speech is for all; it's especially important to protect when we disagree with the free speaker, a concept Democrats ignore at their own peril.


Living Up to Freedom

Second in a series of Articles that appeared in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

By John M. Lord, Jr.


Our first column discussed America’s founding value, freedom, and the top Republican priority of defending it from external threats through a strong national defense. This week we will touch on the obligations incumbent on free citizens and the need to guard our freedoms from inadvertently undermining them ourselves.

The privilege of personal freedom is inextricably linked to the duty of personal responsibility. Just as each of us is free to choose what is best for us and our families, so too each of us must accept and live up to the responsibilities that go with that privilege. This means educating ourselves, supporting ourselves, and living up to our private and civic obligations. In short, we must strive to carry our own weight and avoid burdening others.

Given our freedom of choice, we must also be willing to live with the outcomes of our decisions. At one time or another, all of us have made poor choices that we wish could be undone; but our responsibility as adults and citizens is to bear the result, learn from our experience and try to avoid making the same mistake again.

Sometimes, this necessary link between freedom and responsibility seriously tests our human sympathies. For example, when through impulse or ignorance a child or a friend makes a bad choice, we are tempted to help relieve them of the consequences; but is doing so really a kindness or does it instead lead to a reliance on others to come to the rescue?

All this would be simply an interesting philosophical debate except that the obligations of individual responsibility and the natural, though sometimes inadvisable desire to help others, become manifest in the role of government. Few would argue against laws to protect individuals from harm by others, but what of laws designed to protect people from themselves or from the sometimes harsh realities of life?

Over the last 80 years our federal government has grown increasingly paternalistic, assuming responsibilities that were once distinctly left to the individual. While well meaning, this creeping government “benevolence” has had unintended consequences, including eroding personal liberty and fostering a culture of dependence in segments of our society. Continuation of this trend puts America’s unique brand of freedom at risk. As former Republican Senator Barry Goldwater put it, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.”

Republicans have long resisted the growth of government social programs that usurp personal freedom and absolve people of their responsibilities. But far from being negatively motivated, the Republican belief in small government is an affirmation that every individual has the intelligence, the ability and the duty to act for themselves, and that in doing so we will collectively thrive as a nation. At this point in our history, restoring the primacy of the people relative to government is more important than ever. We say, let freedom ring.


Let’s Start With Freedom 

This is the first in a series of articles that Mr. Lord has offered for publication and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript has given permission to Mr. Lord to republish.

As Published by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 03/25/2010, Page 10

BY John M. Lord JR.

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript has kindly asked the Peterborough Republican Committee to submit occasional columns on topics of our choosing. We plan to use this forum to address ideas and issues that we believe are a concern to people in our region and to Americans generally, such as the economy, education, deficit spending and taxes.

We promise you that these won’t be tedious policy papers or partisan polemics; rather, we will try to speak plainly, neighbor to neighbor, about how we can work together to put our state and country back on track and re-energize the collective sense of optimism that has suffered during this prolonged recession.

Let’s start with freedom, America’s founding value and most inspiring virtue. Since our War of Independence from Britain almost 230 years ago, generations of Americans have held freedom sacred and defended it at great cost. To “Live Free or Die” has been our literal commitment as a nation and our active defense of freedom continues today with brave young Americans serving in the armed forces in distant, dangerous places. Thanks to all those who have served and supported this great cause, we remain a free nation, the envy of hundreds of millions who still live under oppression.

American freedom has many dimensions and is unique, even among developed, democratic countries. Our most important freedoms are enumerated in the Constitution, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association. These specific rights are emblematic of the Constitution’s fundamental goal of protecting the individual from the power of the state. Those who framed the Constitution had an abiding faith in the ability of every individual to decide what is best for them, to pursue happiness in their own way, to live their lives with minimal intrusion by government.

The principle of maximizing personal choice and responsibility while limiting the role of government remains at the core of the Republican philosophy and shapes our approach to problem solving. Later columns will discuss how this bias for the individual applies to specific issues that we face as a society today.

Given our paramount concern for freedom, it is natural that Republicans have always placed a top priority on national defense. Regrettably, there are factions and forces in the world working to undermine our nation and our way of life. The attack of 9/11, the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea and Iran, and the more recent attempted “Christmas bombing” have shown us that our enemies are not abstract and that intelligence lapses can be mortal. A parallel priority at the state and local levels is keeping our streets safe and our homes secure.

We think that most folks will agree that protecting our homeland and our homes is "Job One" and we must allocate the resources necessary to do the job. Thanks to tough-minded intelligence/ defense policies instituted by the last Republican administration, we are prevailing in the fight. It promises to be a long struggle, but we will win in the end. And though we are all feeling the sting of the economic downturn right now, we can still take pride and satisfaction in knowing that we have our most cherished asset: Freedom.

John M. Lord Jr. is a member of the Peterborough Republican Committee.