In Part 1 of the American Covenant programs, Dr. Porter discussed the obligations of our government to our citizens. In Part 2, he discussed the obligations of the citizens to the nation. Both programs are in the archived section of Preserving America.
In Part 3 of this series, Dr. Porter discusses the rights which the citizens of America have according to our Constitution. He talks about who decides those rights and how the decisions are made, and he offers the standard below as a means of determining the rights we possess.
“A participant in a true democracy should have the right to do whatever it is he or she wishes to do as long as his or her actions do not inhibit another participant from enjoying the same right where…
(a) an inhibiting consequence must derive from the act itself, not an interpretation of the act
(b) the ability to act must apply equally to qualified citizens
(c) the standard shall not extend to children, the infirm, or other participants judged by the best evidence of the day to be incapable of acting in their own best interest or in the interest of the society and thus who are not qualified to act in certain instances.
Participants acting in violation of the standard shall be restrained from those actions and shall, to whatever extent the laws provide, forfeit their right to continue to participate fully in the democracy.”
Finally, to preserve the separation of church and state contained in the words of the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion,” Dr. Porter discusses the Constitutional demand that the standard above be considered apart from any religious principle.