Today is the Bill of Rights' 230th birthday
Today marks the 230th Anniversary of the passing of the Bill of Rights, Dec 15, 1791.
The founding fathers originally intended the Bill of Rights to be an additional shield against federal tyranny, reinforcing the clear limits that the Constitution already had put in place. Like Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, who proclaims to the ancient demon, "You Shall Not Pass," the Bill of Rights was to be an instrument that States and individuals would use to proclaim the same message to the national government.
Most people do not realize that the Bill of Rights has a preamble of its own. This preamble is usually not included in the printed version of the Constitution, but it clearly sets forth the purpose for which the Bill of Rights was passed.
The States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added[.]
The founders knew that the greatest threat to the liberty of the people was a national government that would constantly attempt to expand its powers.
They stated this clearly again in the 10th Amendment.
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.
This amendment is completely ignored by the federal government today. But, thankfully, we are seeing States re-exert this right, the State of Florida being the pre-eminent example at this time.
So on this Bill of Rights Anniversary Day, "what are we to do?"
Well, first, master a summary of what the Bill of Rights articulates for you as a U.S. citizen. These ten statements are unique in all the world. Know them, cherish them, fight for them, and share them with others.
A summary of the Bill of Rights:
- Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and to challenge those in government.
- Freedom to own a gun to protect yourself and your family from others and the government.
- Freedom from being forced to cover expenses of military or a police force directly out of your pocket.
- Freedom from being spied upon or being forced to give up personal info.
- Fair justice that includes due process of the law, no self-incrimination, and no kangaroo courts.
- Fair justice with a speedy, public trial and the assumption of innocence and ability to see your accuser.
- Fair justice with trial by an unbiased jury of fellow citizens
- Fair justice including no excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment.
- People retain all unnamed rights.
- States and the people retain all unnamed rights — the federal government's power is only what has been granted to it in writing.
Once you have mastered this summary, get and read a full copy of the Bill of Rights. Share these ideas with others. And when the fight comes to your door in your local school or local community, get together with others, and take the shield of the Bill of Rights, and take a stand.
Craig Seibert is a writer, speaker, teacher, and trainer. As the director of www.USCivicsTraining.org and www.ChristianCivicsTraining.org, he trains tens of thousands of people in history, civics, and worldview each year. You can reach Craig and get lots of free resources through these websites.
Image via Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.