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I love history and I always have. But more so now especially when it comes to American history and learning exactly what a truly insurmountable struggle it was to found this country and to establish its incredible freedoms. We aren’t talking a cake walk here kids. The Bill of Rights, however, were highly debatable during the time the founders were fighting to establish and ratify our Constitution. Nothing like this had been done before. There were no road maps or perfect examples to follow.
It was trial and error, argue, trial, error again and eventually agreement. Many ague the imperfections of our Constitution while I can not imagine anything greater existing in the establishment of true freedom. life, liberty and the pursuit of whatever you dang well please without being at the cost of another’s freedom.
Or at least, that was the Founders intention.
Thomas Jefferson argued the need for a Bill of Rights against the opposition of the likes of James Madison and others. Madison feared if you began listing “rights” the assumption would remain that certain rights not listed would then be opened up to the argument they could be limited by Government.
It’s like an Academy Awards Oscar speech. Once you start thanking people, someone will inevitably be left out. Madison felt that the “Constitution as written, gave the federal government no power to violate citizens’ liberties.” Insert sarcastic, depressing, hysterical laughter here.
Jefferson insisted in a letter to Madison, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth . . . and what no just government should refuse.”
Eventually Madison and others would come on board and agree to the addition of a Bill of Rights and on this day in 1791 the Bill of Rights was ratified.
I honestly feel like never before the Bill of Rights is standing, blind folded, strapped to a pole, smoking a cigarette and waiting for the end. The Bill of Rights established a rule of law and advocacy for limited Government in protecting our personal liberties. It is directly under fire.
The First Amendment which clearly states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, has directly been violated through Obamacare. Religious institutions are being forced through this law to provide free birth control to women under their employ even though it goes fully against their beliefs. Congress has made a law which no longer respects religion.
The next portion of the First Amendment mentions, abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. The Senate Judiciary Committee, a la, Chuck Schumer, Lindsay Graham et al, would like to define exactly what they believe to be journalism. Under their definition, I would not be protected. But the First Amendment does protect me. The Freedom of the press is a direct counter to the Government and their attempt to control public opinion. The problem with current media is that it has become an agenda driven cesspool sold out to the highest bidder. Citizen journalism is the last bastion of hope in exposing the truth and holding the Government accountable. No wonder they want to shut us up.
I can go on for hours concerning our crumbling liberties. Don’t even get me started on the Fourth Amendment. Got that NSA, I’m watching you too.
However in honor of our incredible rights being ratified I realize how many just accept that they are disintegrating before our eyes believing their demise is inevitable. I take issue with that attitude. Establishing our Bill of Rights wasn’t an easy task. Keeping our Bill of Rights will not be either.
The biggest question is how.
You have the freedom to assemble. Then assemble. Inform others of the direct attacks on their freedom. You have the freedom of speech, then speak. Speak loud until you are heard or eventually silenced. You have the freedom of religion. Pray. Pray G-d will once again see favor in this country and her beautiful people.
You stand up and you fight. You cling to your guns and you cling to your G-d. And no, NSA, who is likely reading this. I am not inciting violence. But I am asking for people to fight in whatever capacity they hold. It may be taking the IRS or NSA to task via our court system. It may be writing a blog. It may be creating a group to inform others. It may be helping to elect the right officials who also believe the Bill of Rights are not some archaic dated document.
Whatever it is, do it. Or the Bill of Rights and your rights in general will just be something that just once was…back when America still stood for something.
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.
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.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.