Three Thoughts, Medical, First and Second Amendment

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I have succumbed to a thought that I vowed to myself, never to reveal. Through conversation or the printed page. Not one thought, but really three.

The first one is about my physical condition in the light of an eighty-eight year old man. My motivation is not really new. In fact, I have discovered that the substance of my thoughts is rather common.

Basically it has to do with the medical profession. About a month ago, my Primary Care physician ordered an Ultrasound for my legs. His concern was based on my lack of leverage to get up after I had fallen. I have Neuropathy in both legs.

I have been confined to using a walker for several years, but had never been stymied by a lack of leverage. On my visit with my Primary Care doctor, he recommended that I see a vascular surgeon for an evaluation, because of the Ultrasound.

At my appointment with the surgeon, his comment after physical examining my legs was, “Oh, you’re just an old man.” I was not satisfied with that, so I requested a second opinion.

His comment was simple. “If you were my father, I would tell you to forget it and go about your business.” Never once did either of them discuss the Ultrasound.

My next appointment with my Primary Care doctor was cancelled. He is now on medical leave. In his place I met with a “floater.” He did what neither surgeon did. He told me the results of the first Ultrasound. My right leg peripheral artery is 75 percent blocked. My left leg peripheral artery is 50 percent blocked.

He is referring me to a Vascular Surgeon at Loma Linda; and an eco-cardiogram; and two Ultrasounds. His opinion about my care is not printable. It is not the patients fault.

A number of HMO patients have shared their opinions with me and they are the same as mine. The lack of communication between doctors and patients.

My second thought has to do with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is a part of the Bill of Rights that was developed by James Madison. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The first two amendments plus eight more were ratified on December 15, 1791. Basically the first amendment prohibits Congress establishing one religion for everyone; and “directly impedes an individual’s right to practice whichever religion they see fit.”

In other words, freedom of speech and freedom of religion and from religion, if so desired.

At the time these amendments were written there were several prominent religious groups; Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, Anglicans, Unitarians, Catholic, Agnostic, Atheist and Deists.

Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Madison were Deists. Adams and his son were Unitarians. Basically Deists believed in a God that created everything, and then left it to fend for itself. In other words, non-involvement. None of them could be considered Christians.

Thomas Jefferson wrote a book that is based on the Gospels of the New Testament, but it excludes every miraculous event; including the resurrection and Deity of Jesus.

By the way, a copy can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Under the title, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”

The Amendment also prohibits the barring of Muslims, and the closing of Mosques. Civil Liberties groups like the ACLU contend that religious items like The Ten Commandments should not be displayed on Government property. They violate the first Amendment. The same law applies to any attempt to ban a religion or close a house of worship.

My third concern is the second Amendment that states: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The right to arm oneself is seen as a personal liberty.

The word “militia” is open for interpretation. Webster has a variety of meanings. But primarily it refers to a volunteer group that is trained for military purposes. In recent years this has been used by groups opposing one or more facets of the Federal Government.

This Amendment is the fundamental affirmation of the NRA, which stands for National Rifle Association.

The NRA is an American non-profit organization that was established in 1871 in New York. Currently there are over four million members in the NRA.

It has numerous objectives that involve the use of guns; the right of all Americans to possess guns; publish four magazines promoting gun use; and most important political; subsidizing many elected governmental officials.

Amen. Selah. So be it.

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