A neglected anniversary

Do you know what today is? You should -- and so should the world

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You probably don't think today is much different from yesterday. But the truth is, if today were a holiday, it would be right up there with the Fourth of July.

Today, Dec. 15, is the 219th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights -- the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Why it isn't a national holiday, why we don't shoot off fireworks or have parades or big department store sales is beyond us. At the risk of understating the case, the Bill of Rights may be the most important document ever written by man.

The Bill of Rights protects us in very specific, very profound ways from the runaway power of unbridled government -- and, therefore, from the tyranny of the majority. It builds an eternal firewall around our most precious, most basic and important rights: to speak and write as we wish; to worship how we wish; to be secure in our persons and papers from unreasonable searches and seizures by a powerful government; to bear arms; to not be imprisoned without cause or due process, or to be punished cruelly; to be judged not by the government but by our peers -- and much more.

No other people in history has defended the rights of individuals in all of these ways.

Even today, you cannot travel outside these United States and be protected in all these ways. Even in Western Europe, whence our legal traditions emanate, you can still be found "guilty" of expressing an unpopular view. In most other countries around the world, you can be imprisoned for looking cross-eyed at the government.

Nor are our basic freedoms as found in the Bill of Rights ever truly safe here at home. Zealots and governments constantly attempt to constrict the boundaries of our freedoms, only to have their lines erased -- God willing -- in our courts. Eternal vigilance is our lot, to be sure.

We cannot take our basic freedoms for granted, for they will surely be taken from us. The Bill of Rights is our last line of defense against tyranny. It's the comprehensive policy that insures our dearest freedoms -- to be who we will, to speak as we desire and to be respected in our persons and property.

We declared our independence from Britain on July 4, 1776 -- but without all the freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights, what good would it have done? Our oppressors would have simply changed clothes.

How this all passes without either massive celebration or even mere mention is both a mystery and a disgrace, fast approaching scandal.

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Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/14/10 - 10:27 pm
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"The Bill of Rights protects

"The Bill of Rights protects us in very specific, very profound ways from the runaway power of unbridled government -- and, therefore, from the tyranny of the majority."

Then it has failed us :(

Our czar loving, excecutive order loving, freedom-trampling community organizer & his minions have somehow found a way around it.

Fundamental_Arminian
1871
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Fundamental_Arminian 12/15/10 - 04:02 am
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As Benjamin Franklin said,

As Benjamin Franklin said, the government given to us is a constitutional republic, but we're responsible to keep it. We mustn't take our freedoms for granted or let ourselves be tricked into exchanging them for the programs of a nanny state.

CleveL
0
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CleveL 12/15/10 - 04:06 am
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"A Bill of Rights is what the

"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference."
--Thomas Jefferson

charlie marlow
162
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charlie marlow 12/15/10 - 06:40 am
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I can't believe this

I can't believe this editorial is from the same paper that called for the deaths of everyone involved with wikileaks not too long ago on this very same editorial page.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 12/15/10 - 08:20 am
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Good post AC. Too bad the
Unpublished

Good post AC. Too bad the Obamatrons just don't get it. "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

MajorPaul
0
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MajorPaul 12/15/10 - 10:10 am
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The problem with the Bill of

The problem with the Bill of Rights (which is a very good thing) is that ever since Mr Lincoln made it a presidential thing to ignore it whenever he felt the urge, politicians have been doing the very same thing ever since.
It is very ironic that the Grandson of the man who wrote our national anthem was imprisoned in the very same fort that flag flew over (without ever being charged with a crime, no less) just because he publicly stated he did not think Mr Lincoln had the right to invade the South.
Today, the Government has changed the first amendment to the point where any place that takes public funding can not use the name of Christ or God, yet they still do not allow many people the rights to their own freedom of religion. Gays can marry, but a man who comes here from another country with more than one wife (which is fine in his religion) has to give 3 of them up.
The second amendment gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms. But the Government has passed so many laws regulating them, and in fact, infringing on that right!
My question is Why must Americans have so many regulations restricting our rights to worship and speak about our God and have so many rules which, in fact, do infringe on the forming and maintaining of a modern day militia, while the politicians constantly give only lip service to the United States Constitution?
We do not need to celebrate the Bill of Rights until we actually are allowed the rights contained in it.

constitutionnow
0
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constitutionnow 12/15/10 - 10:34 am
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"Our Constitution was made

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people, it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams
In other words, as long as we keep electing morally inept idiots to the most powerful positions in our government, we continue down the same path as every other superpower in history...historical insignificance.

orgpsych
0
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orgpsych 12/15/10 - 12:04 pm
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Of course, the actions under

Of course, the actions under the Bush administration to negate the requirement of due process and prevent unreasonable search and seizure, all in the name of "national security," will be overlooked by those who seek opportunities to bash those who would protect those very freedoms quarnateed by the Bill of Rights. The rights in discussion here are apparently not sacrosanct, after all.

Anyone who infringes on those rights needs to be brought to account, regardless of their political affiliation.

Eat the cake ... have the cake ... Hmmm. You can't do/have both.

orgpsych
0
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orgpsych 12/15/10 - 12:08 pm
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If you think that we need to

If you think that we need to do whatever is necessary/desired to protect us from the "Muslim Horde" then the Bill of Rights, and perhaps even the Constitution, is a fraud. People rail against changing the Constitution and then seek to amend it for their convenience.

Eat the cake ... have the cake ... can't have both.

If the tenets of the Constitution are truly remarkable and worth fighting/dying for then we MUST live by them, regardless. Hold both Parties accountable for their abuses of those rights.

Michael Ryan
786
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Michael Ryan 12/15/10 - 02:08 pm
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Chillen -- We have failed the

Chillen -- We have failed the Bill of Rights, not the other way around.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 12/15/10 - 03:39 pm
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Sad but true Michael. We did

Sad but true Michael. We did let it happen. Too bad it wasn't iron clad though - the political criminals found the loopholes.

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