Remembering Our Rights ... and How Easily They Can Slip Away

Memorial Day has passed again, and I found it once again interesting to see the platitudes that passed as patriotism towards our veterans and our country thrown around between commercials on TV.

One of the easiest phrases to roll off the tongue of an American is when speaking of our rights.

I have the right to freedom of speech based on the 1st amendment. I have the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I have the right to believe in whatever God I choose or no God at all. I have the right to disagree with the decisions my government makes without fear of reprisal and the right to get rid of them if I think they're doing a bad job. I have the right to own property and the right to defend it. I have the right to marry whom I want and the right to be left alone in my own home without concern for government intrusion. I have the right to travel freely from state to state without a passport or permission for the matter. 

Yes I have innumerable rights in the United States, and we spend a lot of time and money trying to get more every day. We do indeed possess these rights, but what isn't true is that all of them are intrinsic to our nature.

No, the truth is we don't actually have any rights in America, if by rights we mean I deserve them or earned them. The rights we do have, have been given to us! The rights you have to speak freely were given to us by people who died speaking freely. The right you have to worship freely here without the concern of coercion or jail time was given to you by people who left their native home to hand us that privilege.

The right to despise your government, and more importantly, to publicly say so was given to you by people who fought and died, quite literally, to create a government that allowed itself to be challenged. 

I hate war but humanity has proven we can't exist without it. You can protest war in America only because of people who fought a war to give you the privilege.

My point is that we should be beyond grateful for all the rights we possess as Americans; but perhaps we should all be more careful about flippantly utilizing the word rights as though this is common to man.

It should roll off your tongue with somber awe and dignity as though you have been given access to using the king’s name in order to pass through hostile terrain. It should be honored by the weight of its presence. If you have the right to burn your own flag, it should be for that very reason that you never do! This is something that used to be called honor and yet seems only to be taught now to soldiers. It is only right that we never take for granted what most of us have been given simply because of the land our mothers inhabited as they gave birth.


Even though we believe that God created all men equal, it is left to us in this fallen state to honor that and instigate it whenever we can. Why? Because the Creator said that this is right. In the upcoming movie Persecuted that I had the privilege to be part of we explore the very real concept of what happens if a governing elite decide to destroy the rights of religious speech because they don’t like the message it contains.

I have never been part of a film that is so timely and is happening right now not only in places you expect it like the Middle East and North Korea, but in the U.S.A. 

On July 18 Persecuted hits the theaters nationwide, and I hope you will go and see this film while we still have the right to make films that hold the political elite responsible for their Constitutional breeches and that you will continue to support the true government of this greatest nation of all-time, WE THE PEOPLE!

Brad Stine – God’s comic – is a stand-up comedian, actor and author.


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