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After Charlottesville, the Constitution must be our guide

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The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon.” ~ George Washington

I am shaken, rattled to the bone by the events that took place on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. While I have, unfortunately, become somewhat accustomed to seeing the vicious “Antifa” fascists, I am not accustomed to seeing large groups of white supremacists: nor am I accustomed to seeing warring extremist factions engaged in violent conflict on the streets. America, we have an extremist problem.

For the past few years I have become increasingly concerned over the possibility of growing numbers among white supremacist circles. With the level of misguided, racial hatred toward white men having become more common, I suppose it was only a matter of time before opportunistic, dark, and malevolent figures such as Richard Spencer began preying upon those feeling disenfranchised, harboring deep resentments, and perpetuating the self-consuming philosophy of victimhood. The image of those men, marching in torchlit rows like the dark army of Mordor, keeps replaying in my mind, ushering in a sick feeling in my stomach. It sickens me. It frightens me.

I am repulsed. I am horrified. I am sad. I am shaken.

I don’t know exactly what draws people to totalitarian ideologies that are so commonly characterized by the hatred of one group towards another and the subsequent dehumanization of others based on class, or skin color, or intellectual ability. I can say that these ideologies tend to first attract those who harbor the most anger in their hearts with the least amount of life experiences under their belts, as well as those who are generally maladjusted to life’s everyday demands and routine interpersonal requirements. The philosophies of the resentful and hardened hearts are dangerous indeed.

Whatever the compounding causes are for the undeniable increase in radical activities and allegiances in America at present, there is no denying that our society is plagued by the totalitarian, fracturing forces of anger, resentment, and hatred which threatens America’s hard-won liberties. In times of chaos, our liberties are not only under threat from the actions of hate-driven radical groups, but also from the possibility of our own overreaction to the actions of those repugnant groups at the fringes of our society. Therefore, the responsibility for guiding a chaos-ridden society falls on the shoulders of those of present-mind, of cognizant and clear-thinking.

Luckily, the US Constitution was written troubled for times like these. Difficult though it may be, we mustn’t allow our own eagerness to prohibit the vile expression of the grotesque factions of our society to damage our own rights and liberties. Hateful speech must be met not with repression, but with truthful speech and condemnations; violence met with non-violence, law-breaking met with law-enforcement. Now is the time for shining greatness and bravery, for leading by example. Now is the time for upholding the Constitution. Though we all may be feeling deeply shaken and rattled to the bone, we must preserve our freedoms. As Abraham Lincoln wisely stated, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of ThePaintingPastor.org, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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