Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Fifth Amendment from a Christian Viewpoint Part 2

nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

The case of Mike Nifong just goes to prove that the legal system can sometimes be used for a political agenda not the dispensing of justice. In colonial times, if you were suspected of being a spy for the enemies of Britain, the trial you were entitled to was entirely slanted in favor of the government. There was no presumption of innocent until proven guilty.

On the contrary, the presumption was just the opposite. The jury was more often than not populated by loyalists to the Crown who were just as eager to hang a 'traitor' as the British authorities. If by some chance the trial went in your favor, the British government had the ability to re-try you until they got the verdict they wanted. They had the ability to force a confession from you and to force you to testify against yourself as to your actions. If they knew that there was a chance that the trial wouldn't go their way, they could keep you imprisoned for indefinite periods of time.

With the Fifth Amendment, the Founding Fathers put the burden on the authorities to prove a person guilty. The ability for the government to re-try a case until they get a favorable verdict was stripped. This is what is known today as 'Double Jeopardy'. You cannot be tried for the same crime twice, if you have been found not guilty.

As American Citizens we have the right to plead the 'fifth'. The state cannot force us to testify against ourselves and as a rule cannot claim that our refusal to testify is an admission of guilt.

For all those 'progressive Christians' who don't believe that this kind of argument is beneficial to them because they are 'spiritual' please consider the recent case of the Navy Seals accused of assaulting a terrorist. Tremendous political pressure came onto the military tribunals to try these men in a courtmartial because a terrorist, one responsible for the deaths of an untold number of Americans and for the dragging and burning of an American soldier, this terrorist 'got abused' by these SEALs. Whether it was to be overly sensitive to the Muslim population of our country or not, SOMEONE had to be punished for this 'assault', so they naturally went after the men who risked their lives to capture this scumbag. The initial deal they attempted was to have the men agree to admit to wrong doing and serve a light sentence in a military prison, the men rightly refused.
The story the terrorist told was different each time, and yet the political pressure to punish SOMEONE continued to the court martial trial. Four patriots who were doing their job risked a prison sentence and being stripped of all military rank and priveledges because of 'political correctness'.

Fast forward to a few years from now. A minister is on trial for hate speech for preaching against homosexuality, or preaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. He faces prison time of ten years and the pressure is on for the authorities to get him convicted and sent away. The Constitution that is currently being shredded by the Marxist leaning Barack Hussein Obama grants this minister the right to free speech, the right to preach and practice his religion, the right to not testify against himself and more. But the political pressure overcomes the Constitution and soon more and more preachers and Christians in general can be imprisoned and deprived of their liberty and property because they don't march in lock-step with the Socialist slant of the government. Don't believe it could happen? Remember this is the same administration that set up a separate email account for Americans to turn in their friends, neighbors and family members if they were speaking against the Obama Health Care Plan. Think what you will of the plan, it is unheard of for an American President to actively seek out a group of people who disagree with him and want other Americans to turn them over to the government. That's Stalinistic, that's what Castro, Hitler, Lenin, and Mao did. WAKE UP!

If we as Americans allow this type of clear violation of our Constitution to continue unchecked, then we as Christians will pay the price. STAND UP, FIGHT for your rights, because if you don't, then this free nation will be another Cuba, another Venezuela and the true church will be forced underground.

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