"A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups
start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left."
William O. Douglas
(1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice
New York Times, 20 January 1980
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All liberties (civil, religious, public, private, etc.) are inherent in the individual sovereign as a faculty of birth. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed. Each and every, at any and all time a people feign extending liberties, civil or otherwise, to preferred, non-preferred, or otherwise groups, a dictatorship is born, defined, and recognized.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 3
    Right on, Mike, and we will be very close to a dictatorship if B.H.O. is elected with a majority for Pelosi and Reed. With that crowd in power we can forget about any thoughts of a Constitutional government, not that anyone in DC pays any attention to it now. That nest of vipers, with few exceptions, should be cleaned out at the ballot box on Tuesday.
     -- jim k, austin     
  • 3
    When we confuse 'freedom' with 'power', we vote for more power rather than the preservation of our liberties. So we sacrifice our liberty so that we can funnel more power to the guy that promises to use that power to plunder the other classes for our own gain. This is the tendency of all democracies -- and the masses are ALWAYS lied to and kept in perpetual dependence and servitude.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
    Exactly right, Archer.
     -- jim k, austin     
  • 3
    A "civil liberty" that is extended to only a select few is not a liberty at all. It is a privilege, a payoff, a bribe, or a combination of all of those. We are quickly moving to a place where the Constitution, in becoming a so-called living document, in fact dies. We are left then with no guaranteed liberties at all. Everything becomes illegal and we are then granted exceptions at the whim of government which become the final arbiter in what is allowed or not allowed, even eventually to whether we will be allowed to live at all.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 4
    Precisely, that's why all should have the same civil rights, including Gays and the un-married living together - the list goes on. There are no rights while those without are denied by those who have them. The Right and the Left come round full circle on this and that is why we need a secular government and a supreme court that is evenly divided between the two.
     -- RBESRQ     
  • 1 4
    I think RBESRQ rhetoric rolls into nonesense, allmost hypnoticaly making bull look like logic. Liberty is not a right to law breakers, and we start with Gods laws, then expect that mans laws are persuant and obedient to Gods laws. Keep our coins, "In God we trust." What we need now is seperation of Judaism and State. RBESRQ, has a talmudic ring to his veiwpoint. We don't need any more of that stuff. It already has near ruined our Country. Hardtruth
     -- Anonymous     
  • 2 1
    RBESRQ and Anonymous are each arguing opposite sides of the same counterfeit coin! The right to Life, Liberty and Property are Individual Rights. The "right to redefine marriage", to get equal marriage claims under Social Security, to demand that everyone accept gayness as being as correct and equal or superior to hetersexuality in the views of others, etc is exactly what Douglas was talking about. Then there are the racist Jew-hating comments of 'Anonymous', who believes that man has no rights except as seen by his religion, gee, yet another example of the specialized 'rights' that Douglas warned against. Both view "rights" as giving them the right to impose their rather strange and irresponsible views on others. Consider instead, that any concept of rights is meaningless unless it imposes no demands upon another that he has not consented to, need I point out, without duress. See comments of Mike, Jim, Archer and Ken, above.
     -- John, St Louis, Mo     
  • 3
    I respect other faiths etc... However this Republic was founded by Christians and all laws etc... based on a biblical world view. Were the founders perfect, no, but marriage and family are ecclesiastical domains and the government can not define marriage, only the established church whether Protestant or Catholic. They can still have the legal rights that partners have, but marriage is an ecclesiastical term not to be redefined by man, ever for any reason.
     -- kathy, new york     
  • 2
    Kathy, This nation was founded by Deists, who mostly were not Christians. This Republic was based on Anglo-Saxon COMMON LAW and Due Process, WRT Individual Rights. Christian England from which we revolted, imposed their religion, that is why people left there, and later revolted, when Christian England imposed taxes, practiced censorship, violated Due Process, and practiced tyranny in myriads of ways. If you tell me that they had their "biblical world view" wrong, I suspect they would disagree, and the only means of resolving this is your force vs their force. Your only basis, you being a "mere" individual, is your assertion of Individual Rights. They're bigger. Respecting Individual Rights means no imposition, no coercion, allowing you to practice your religion as you see fit. Practicing Christianity, as demonstrated by many Christian based governments, does not require anyone to respect Individual Rights.
     -- John, St Louis, Mo     
  • 1 1
    It is not religion one follows, but the individual who puts forth Sound Doctrines of said, ancient laws of Liberty and Freedom. 13 comes to mind. When hope is lost, and man can put no trust in man, We turn to our Creator as our Founding Fathers did. With a Firm Reliance on Divine Providence ! Douglas being the Nadiyb liberal that he is, his opening line, " A people who extend civil liberties." rather than referring to a persons " Inalienable Rights " is the biggest Red Flag of all, to any one with a brain. Mike expounds loudly upon these Facts at natural law. The Qadesh may have their liberty, But Never at My expense ! That includes My family ! Clean House and Drain the Swamp is the order of the day. Like it or not, to draw the cords tight in government overreach, a circumspect alignment takes place, favoring neither the left or right, in personal, private or otherwise selfish intent. A reprobate mindsets leadership, always falls on its face !
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  • 2
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