What Are We Fighting For?

What Are We Fighting For?

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What Are We Fighting For?

“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.”

This is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. This is the contract we have with our leaders to ensure that tyranny and injustice never take the power away from the people. This is the freedom we fight for when we send our military into foreign countries to overthrow oppressive regimes. And this is the soul of the nation which we must protect from anyone or anything that stands in its way. Recently, events have united the nation in a way that has not been seen in several years. We often take for granted how good we have it here. To be an American is a privilege that many fight for and never have. We are the most diverse country in the world. We have African Americans, Latin Americans, Asian Americans Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Scientologists: you name it, we’ve got it. Consisting of people of every background, race, ethnicity, and religion, often we do not have a single thing in common, except for one thing: we’re all Americans. We all live here with the trust that we have as much freedom as our neighbors to do what we want and live how we want. However, we still have obstacles we must overcome to fully achieve this freedom. Throughout our history, short as it may be, Americans have overcome many social obstacles that would diminish our human rights. We have given women equal rights, a concept that many nations would scoff at. We have fought a war to abolish slavery, an institution that would hold whites over blacks. We continue to fight for our Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all People are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” How soon we forget what all the fighting is for.

While blacks have their rights, and women can vote, our nation is beginning to realize that there is a new minority slowly emerging into the public view.

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By now, most of the younger generation has come to accept the fact that homosexuals are here with us for good. They live in our neighborhoods, they go to school and work with us, they eat at the same restaurants as we do, they love they love each other, like us. In fact, they are us. We are Americans. We are all created equal. We may not have the same beliefs, traditions, or values, but we all stand for one unity of people. President George W. Bush has announced a campaign to make an Amendment to our Constitution banning the right of marriage between gays. He announced his beliefs on the issue in the 2004 State of the Union Address:

A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute defines marriage under federal law as the union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states. Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of this President and his loyal coterie of Christian evangelical congressmen and senators. On an issue of such great consequence, our Administrations voice must be heard. If judges insist on opening up the floodgates for homosexual marriage through their arbitrary albeit Constitutional decisions, the only alternative left for any God-fearing politician would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage, protect its status as a holy union entered into through the blessings of the Almighty, and stand firm and erect against those who undercut the monopoly heterosexual people enjoy as the only folks marriage in the eyes of God.

The President is standing up for his beliefs. However, there must be a separation of church and state. We do not make any laws respecting an establishment of religion. To do so would go against the First Amendment. His God may look down on homosexuals, but his God does not govern America. Americans govern America. People have been getting married long before the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, a bill signed by President Clinton, who obviously did not know the first thing about protecting marriage. What about the Defense of Love? Isn’t that what marriage is really about? If two people love each other, and they want to be bound together for the rest of their days, shouldn’t they be given that right? Isn’t that the Pursuit of Happiness? The institution of marriage in America has a 50 percent divorce rate. Why should we disallow two people who truly love each other to make the commitment and hold it until death do them part?

The ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. It goes against everything Americans have ever fought for. The motives behind the amendment are prejudiced, bigoted, and narrow-minded. They take the beliefs of one man’s religion and apply them to everybody. The separation of church and state must be upheld or else we will fall backwards to a time of tyranny and oppression. Our Constitution is the body and soul of our nation. We must stand up for our rights and the rights of our neighbor, or we will never be free.

Work Cited

Bush, George W. State of the Union Address. 19 January 2004
<http://s88741803.onlinehome.us/2004SOTU/2004stateofunionaddress.html>.
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