July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day, America, and happy 243rd anniversary to history’s greatest experiment in freedom!

Today is when Americans celebrate our freedoms.  But sadly, too many of us seem willing to trade away our freedoms in exchange for hollow promises of comfort and security.  As the great philosopher Joni Mitchell once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.”  That’s why the Founding Fathers took such care to lock our most important rights safely within the First Amendment to the Constitution. There are more freedoms guaranteed in that one short sentence than people in most nations can even dream of.  That’s why for centuries now, people from around the world have risked their lives to come to America.  The Founders understood that freedom really is that precious.   

When the framers of the Constitution first met in 1787, many feared that if they created a strong federal government, it would trample the rights of the people, just like the British king they’d fought to break free of.  So to make sure the people’s rights would always be protected, they added 10 amendments - although George Mason thought they were so important, they should come first, as the Preface. 

Now, in case you’ve never heard it or have just forgotten (as too many federal judges have), here is the First Amendment, in its entirety.  Don’t worry, this won’t take long: 

“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.”  

Yep, that’s it.  This was before government needed a 2,000-page bill just to ruin your health insurance.  Only 45 simple words were needed to protect our right to speak freely without fear of government retribution...Our right to publish those words so that other Americans can read and debate them…Our right to band together with like-thinking Americans and protest peacefully without fear of arrest…Our right to petition our leaders to change their policies…And our right to be free from having an official state religion forced on us, but also from government interference with the free expression of our personal religious beliefs.  A lot of people celebrate the first half of that religious right but pretend the second half doesn’t exist.  The Supreme Court even seems to be reticent lately to make clear that it means what it says, even though it takes only six words to say it: “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

These are the rights that together create the free American culture we celebrate today.  The Founders thought they were all so important that somehow, they found a way to list every single one of them first

Then, just to be certain that no future government ever tried to take those rights away, they made the very next amendment the right to bear arms.  And they emphasized that these rights are given by God, not government. So trying to scratch some of them off of the parchment won’t make a lick of difference.    

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Comments 1-19 of 19

  • Jeanne Osterhout

    07/05/2019 11:22 AM

    Excellent, Governor! How many parents read this to their children? Teach them the Star Spangled Banner? Teach them to respect our flag and those in authority? Teach that to be an informed voter is a precious right? Insist that the schools their children attend teach and reinforce patriotism and respect? Certainly, this is not happening in our homes/schools in far too many cases or we would not be seeing the sorry state of government and society in our nation! But there is hope! I believe that the positive things we are seeing are a direct result of God's people praying and beginning to stand for righteousness. Thank you for all that you do for this great cause of honoring USA - imperfect, but still better than any other and if people of faith will unite, we can MAKE it better!

  • Pat Buben

    07/05/2019 09:06 AM

    It's refreshing to read the first amendment, as written, in all of its simplicity. On this fourth of July, I am reminded of how much our freedom is being eroded.... the President of the United States makes a patriotic speech and you have to search to find what station it is being broadcast on. When there are other newsworthy items, every major station is interrupted seemingly for hours. Doesn't our President's speech qualify as a newsworthy item? Another example: Rep. Frederica Wilson now wants people prosecuted for mocking Congress online. Isn't that contrary to the First Amendment?

  • Carole Nellums

    07/04/2019 11:51 PM

    Every person in congress needs to read this every day! Of course, so many are for the one world order as they are power hungry. If the one world order should happen, they most certainly not be the ones with the power! Their own desires blind them to the truth.

  • Bonnie Parvino

    07/04/2019 09:49 PM

    A Poem-- Our Border by Bonnie R. [email protected]
    When the ranchers come into town---they do so for safety sake.
    The invaders are crossing over their lands & violence they do not wish to partake.
    The invaders swim over the river & leave all kinds of trash behind.
    The cattle are killed & eaten or they choke on trash, like tin cans, that are easy to find.

    Every time a rancher looses a cow---a thousand dollars from him is taken.
    Financial & safety issues go hand in hand & orders evolves into kayos & joy is forsaken.
    THIS IS TEXAS---THIS IS AMERICA---her lands are being pushed into a foreign land.
    If we cannot protect our elderly ranchers we will loose this country, this we must understand.
    Written by Bonnie R. Parvino @2019

  • Catherine Fortin

    07/04/2019 06:57 PM

    In 1963, I traveled to Europe for the first time and stayed for three months
    traveling by train throughout the entire continent. Unfortunately, when in Vienna
    our President Kennedy was shot and I experienced such a loss. I could not
    believe the outpouring of feelings from the people there. My point, when I re-
    turned to New York after concluding my trip, I kissed the ground and felt thankful for my country. I still do, even though it saddens me at the split in our

  • Paul E Guerin

    07/04/2019 05:17 PM

    Excellent! Thanks.
    Our country's citizens need to know and understand this most important information. But how? Hey, I know, a song! Besides, if you think about it, the Founding Fathers (caps on purpose) sang their song as the constitution. Their collaboration needs to ring throughout the land! Starting with a song about the first amendment only makes sense, right? Governor Huckabee, I believe you can write such a song! It could be kinda like that school-house-rock song for high school students, except on an "adult" level. I will know when you finish it, because such a song about our freedoms and the importance of them will echo throughout the land. Theme: the bigger the government, the fewer freedoms we have. Sir Mike, I believe we had some of the same English teachers in high school. Thanks for all you do! Paul (Peter's older brother)

  • Clara Herrin

    07/04/2019 04:35 PM

    Hallelujah and Amen. I thank God I was born in this country. It's true that we, as a society, have our problems, but we also have the right to take action to correct them without killing each other. Only when we work together will we have the peace and quiet we so desperately want. Remember, if we let those who hate freedom of expression destroy this country we'll have nowhere else to find the type of security we enjoy in America. No one else has the type of Constitution we have. Happy 4th of July, America. I love you!!!!!!!

  • Michel DiLeo

    07/04/2019 03:49 PM

    It's unfortunate that young people making their way, through our public school system, are no longer taught the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. That's why we have so many of these young people embracing Socialism, without knowing what it really represents. Mike, your daughter Sarah is a CLASS ACT, and will be missed as President Trump's Press Secretary. Thanks. Mike DiLeo

  • Steve Glary

    07/04/2019 03:44 PM

    It is ironic that the 'press' won't let anyone forget that section of the 1st amendment that deals with them, but they seem to forget the remainder of the areas covered in that amendment. "Hate speech" seems like a big area that the founders chose to ignore. They couldn't have meant to include that in freedom of speech, could they? Of course it is included, unless they thought everyone would always be in agreement with each other. But in the screwed-up liberal mind, "freedom" means someone might be offended with something said, so...let's ban hate speech, whether it's about race, religion, sex or puppies. Idiots.

  • Jerry Korba

    07/04/2019 03:08 PM

    Can you imagine if crying chuck, bill de blasio the cuomo boys booker. blumendahl or what ever that freaks name is; little boy nadler could be a bit like the the Duke unfortunately they couldn't have enough DNA to be a stain in his underwear. We wouldn't be saying MAGA we would saying lets keep this country the Greatest of all time. Although our country has millions of John Wayne we do not have any that reside on the left side of Congress and that is pitiful. The anchors of the left have to be cut if we don't look for the USA as your next Communist Republic rememberer the Russians warned that the US will destroy ourselves from within look as the left puts it in motion. BEWARE AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Daniel M Ward

    07/04/2019 02:34 PM

    God Bless America!! We are seeing a deterioration of our religious freedom in our beloved nation. I believe that all this started with the removal of prayer in schools and Roe vs Wade.
    We need to get on our knees and pray for our nation.

  • Jim Pace

    07/04/2019 01:39 PM

    Have Independence Day to you and your family. We sure miss Sara.

  • Audrey Skarness

    07/04/2019 01:35 PM


  • Linda C Harmsen

    07/04/2019 12:46 PM

    Thank you!!!

  • Steven Harry Gazanian

    07/04/2019 12:24 PM

    Thanks, Mike. Happy Fourth of July!

  • Betsy Maloney

    07/04/2019 12:22 PM

    Then stop trying to make us a THEOCRACY, living by your beliefs!!

  • Dawn Andrews

    07/04/2019 12:20 PM

    I truly appreciate you and your daughter. I’m thankful for our constitution and people like you that have a voice keeping the truth out there.

  • Terry VanHouten

    07/04/2019 12:05 PM

    Thank you for this reminder of why this nation has survived and the importance of keeping true to our foundation.

  • Paul H. Dunn

    07/04/2019 11:45 AM

    Thank you for reminding all of us of the extreme benefits that our founders put into this document. It has created the greatest country on earth. That is why so many people want to break into this country.