Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Fourth Amendment from a Christian Viewpoint.

Fourth Amendment - The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The British authorities had the right to enter into anyone's domicile and search for evidence that the inhabitants were conspiring against the King. If they couldn't find weapons or ammunition, they would look for anti-England literature, if they couldn't find that, they would look for anything that might give them authority to arrest those they believed to be rebelling against the King. It is here that modern liberals envision the 'right to privacy' regarding abortion. Such an act was never intended to protect a woman who allows her child to be murdered.

This is why the police must go through the frustrating wait for a warrant to search a premises and also why they must be specific in the warrant about what they are searching for and why. This is a right we have as Americans. Some Christians may say that they have no problem with the authorities searching for anything on their property or person because they have nothing to hide. Personally, I don't really have a lot to hide either except a really dull collection of old books. Whether one has something to hide or not, we cannot allow this right to be stripped of it's power.

Doing so would lead to granting authorities the power to search anyone at anytime for any reason. Most authorities simply don't have the time to be bothered doing so. But given the right circumstances, a hostile government can seek to prosecute innocent people using this tactic. If you doubt this, look at D.A. Mike Nifong, intent on being re-elected in a heavily black area of North Carolina. When a black stripper began making wild allegations against a group of white college students, he began a crusade against the students that exceeded reason. Even as the stripper's story fell apart under close examination and it was proved to be false, he still used the power he had to bring the students before a grand jury for his own political gains. In that instance, Nifong represented government gone mad, illustrating just how easy it would be to cast aside a citizen's rights to make political progress.

But with this fourth amendment, again we see that the Founding Fathers were wanting to protect the people from the power of the Government. The fear was not necessarily for those with something to hide, but for those with something to lose.

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