Publisher puts warning label on Constitution

Wilder Publications has put a warning on our Founding Documents such as the Constitution,  Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers.

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the publisher:

Dear Wilder Publications:

I am appalled beyond words that you would feel the need to put a disclaimer on the very documents that our country was founded upon.

May I remind you that:

Our country, was the first and only country in history that was founded on a brand new idea, the idea that people have rights. These rights are:

• the right to one's own life (which includes what one has worked for)

• the right to one's own liberty

• the right to pursue one's own happiness.

For the first time men were free from other men. They were no longer subservient to the lord, master or king. They could live their lives and pursue their goals independently.

When America was created, there was another new idea - the idea that the only legitimate purpose of government was to protect these rights, to make sure no person violated the rights of another. Government was not there to tell men what to do, or how to live their lives, or to take by force what each man has earned by his own efforts to give to another. The only proper use of force was in retaliation against those who had initiated force against another. Force was only used as a means of defending rights.

And look what happened. America became the happiest, wealthiest, most prosperous, most advanced nation on earth. And you know what else? It was also the most moral country because it recognized individual rights.

You said, "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today." So tell me, what values are you talking about? Are you saying that freedom, recognition of individual rights, keeping what one has rightfully earned, living one's life for oneself, living without force in human relationships is outdated?

The disclaimer goes on to tell parents that they "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work." Are you implying that our nation was founded on racism and sexism? Please tell me how respecting and protecting individual rights is racist and sexist.

I suggest that you advise parents to discuss how views on race, gender, freedom of expression etc. have changed since the Communist Manifesto was written instead. Or are you afraid that would be "offensive", "intolerant" or "politically incorrect"?

The time has come when a line has been drawn in the sand. You are either for the principles upon which this country was founded upon or you are against them. You are either for freedom or slavery. Take your pick. I have already taken mine.

The author is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota. She has been involved in the study of philosophy since 1970.