A Prayer for AmericaI offer these brief remarks today as a prayer for our country, as a celebration of our country. With love of democracy. With love of our country. With hope for our country. With a belief that the light of freedom cannot be extinguished as long as it is inside of us. With a belief that freedom rings resoundingly in a democracy each time we speak freely. With the understanding that freedom stirs the human heart and fear stills it. With the belief that a free people cannot walk in fear and faith at the same time. With the understanding that there is a deeper truth in the unity of the United States. That implicit in the union of our country is the union of all people, everywhere. That all people are essentially one. That the world is interconnected not only on the material level of economics, trade, communication, and transportation; but interconnected through human consciousness, through the human heart, through the heart of the world, through the simply expressed impulse to be and to breathe free.
I offer this prayer for America.
Let us pray that our nation will remember that the unfolding of the promise of democracy in our nation paralleled the striving and accomplishment of civil rights. That is why we must challenge the rationale of the Patriot Act. We must ask why should America put aside guarantees of constitutional justice?
How can we justify in effect canceling the First Amendment and the right of free speech, and the right to peacefully assemble?
How can we justify, in effect, the canceling the Fourth Amendment, probable cause, the prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure?
How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Fifth Amendment, nullifying due process, allowing for indefinite incarceration without a trial?
How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Sixth Amendment, the right to prompt and public trial?
How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Eighth Amendment which protects against cruel and unusual punishment?
We cannot justify widespread wiretaps and internet surveillance without judicial supervision, let alone with it.
We cannot justify secret searches without a warrant.
We cannot justify giving the Attorney General the ability to designate domestic terror groups.
We cannot justify giving the FBI total access to any type of data which may exist in any system anywhere, including medical and financial records.
We cannot justify giving the CIA the ability to target people in this country for domestic intelligence and intelligence surveillance.
We cannot justify a government which takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy.
The Attorney General recently covered up a statue of Lady Justice showing her bosom as if to underscore there is no danger of justice exposing herself in this administration.