We pay our elected officials to represent us by protecting the Constitution and Bill of Rights they are sworn to uphold. When they step out of those boundaries, it is our duty as Americans to speak out against it. Moreover, it is our duty as Christians to protect our rights because they come from God.
Many in Congress were swept into office under a tea party banner, as was Vicky Hartzler in our 4th District. From the beginning of our country's history, the "Tea Party" represents a resistance to unjust laws and taxation, basically tyranny.
But this Congress shows the disdain they have for the people by rewarding their constituents in passing unconstitutional laws! Even more disturbing is, prior to this, Vicky wrote a book called "Running God's Way." As if God would have someone run for office to vote against the very inalienable rights our Founders stated He gave us!
This Congress — House and Senate, Republican and Democrat — reinstated the Patriot Act in 2011, which expands governmental authority that's contrary to traditional notions of surveillance/search and seizure of property, records and even people, without a warrant that complies with our Fourth Amendment.
HR 1540 — the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 — not only authorized the annual defense budget but empowered the presidency the capacity to engage the armed forces in civilian law enforcement. This includes selectively suspending due process and habeas corpus, as well as other amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Regardless of Dianne Feinstein's amendment, this law does not legally exclude U.S. citizens being held without charge or trial! Along with these bills and the recent Supreme Court ruling that campaign money is free speech, we are watching our cherished liberties being eroded before our very eyes.
The government doesn't have the right to erode the constitutional rights of its citizens because they're not the source of those rights. The Declaration of Independence recognizes that "WE are endowed by our Creator." The only one that can take them away is God, and the only way they can be taken away is if WE allow it.
I close with the words of Patrick Henry, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
Sharon Neff is a resident of Garden City, Mo.