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The Constitution: Are you truly a patriot? Most of you are not...

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posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:27 PM
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Since its inception, most Americans are and have been deeply ignorant of what the founding principles of this nation are, and have had to have them forced upon them time and time again. From the very first settler to set foot on the shore to the latest immigrant to raise his or her right hand and swear allegiance to this nation, all have come here seeking freedom. The words freedom and liberty are almost synonymous with America, the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. This is the first nation on earth that was founded on the principle that each and every individual citizen has the same rights and freedoms as every other citizen. It is based on the rights and freedoms of the individual, not the will of the majority or the decree of those who govern the nation.

To make sure that we are all on the same page, let us clarify the definitions of these important concepts:

Rights- (noun) That which are due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.

Freedom- (noun) An absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one's rights and powers.
Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one's rights, powers, desires, or the like.

Liberty- (noun) Freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.


The majority of settlers who came to the New World came here for religious freedom. The Puritans, Quakers, Mennonites, Dunkers, Schwenkfelders, Moravians as well as the Jews and the Catholics all came here for the freedom to follow their religions without the rebuke of the State or their neighbors. This was the spark that lit the American ideal of freedom. It was so important to them that they would spend weeks traveling across an ocean and then battle the harsh conditions of an untamed land.

When the American Colonists finally had enough of the oppression of the English Throne, these principles were put into writing in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These were new and foreign concepts at the time. Before this there had never been a nation that was ruled and governed by its people, and there was never a government that stressed and valued the rights and freedoms of the individual. The State had always come before the individual citizen.

This concept of individual rights and freedoms was further clarified in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, it was considered so important that it was not even included in the body of the original document, but instead was separated and placed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution: The Bill of Rights. The very first individual right mentioned in the Bill of Rights is the very same one that brought the original settlers to the Americas in the first place, freedom of religion. Added to this was freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to bear arms, and many legal rights such as the right against illegal search and seizure, the right to a speedy trial and the right to a trial by one’s peers.

The first clear case of Americans having to be forced into upholding these principles was with the abolishment of slavery in the 1860’s. While it was not the primary cause of the Civil War, it was a major contributing factor. Many Americans refused to see those of African descent as even being human, let alone deserving of the same rights and freedoms that they enjoyed. It took a bloody and costly war to make them fall in line with these principles, though just barely.

The next test of the American people was the Women’s Suffrage Movement at the turn of the twentieth century. Again it took a great deal of effort to get American men to realize that women were just as worthy of the rights and freedoms at the core of the American Constitution as men were. After a long and tough campaign to get the basic right to vote, the Women’s Suffrage Movement celebrated victory in 1920 with the addition of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A case where the Constitution was amended in defiance of these principles was with the addition of the 18th Amendment, which began the period known as Prohibition. While the government can and should regulate what and how a person behaves in public, for it to dictate what that same citizen could do in private was against the core principles set forth by our Founding Fathers. This was a case of religious zealots imposing their will on the nation, in direct defiance of the 1st Amendment, which not only guarantees the freedom of religion, but also guarantees freedom from religion. This mistake was rectified in 1933 with the 21st Amendment which repealed the 18th Amendment.

Another tumultuous example of Americans having to be forced to live up to these principles was the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many civil rights leaders were murdered, many riots ensued, and it was the Supreme Court in many cases that had to force state and local governments into compliance with the Constitution and its founding principles. Through the bravery of such individuals as Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we finally began to fully recognize the individual rights and freedoms of those citizens of color. It should be noted that we still have far to go in this regard with a great number of citizens, but forward progress was made.

It was around this same time that the question of prayer in school and religious icons on public grounds and in public buildings came up. While many still insist that this is a Christian nation, and it was indeed founded by Christians, our Founding Fathers went to great lengths to establish not a Christian nation, but a secular one. The 1st Amendment and its implied freedom from religion dictate that no one single religion be sanctioned or supported in any way by the State. Since our citizenry is of many faiths or no faith at all, it is improper for any single religion’s prayer or icons be given preference over others. So once again Americans had to be forced into compliance. It should be noted that religious references can still be found in the Pledge of Allegiance and on our currency.

In the 1970’s the Women’s Movement and the Equal Rights Amendment came to the forefront as the Civil Rights Movement was wrapping up. Before this time women found it very difficult to find employment, when they did they were paid far less than a man in the same position. They were expected to stay home and raise a family while the husband went out and had a career. While the ERA was never passed and added to the Constitution, the battle for equal rights by women did see them enter the workforce and forge a new path for the role of women in American society.

The current challenge to these founding principles is the Gay Rights Movement. There are a large number of conservative Americans who see this as special rights, not equal rights. This stems from a belief that homosexuality is wrong, and that it is against nature which comes from Judeo-Christian philosophy. But again the general population is being drug into compliance with those principles that make American great. The recent repeal of the nation’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and the passage in many states of gay marriage or at least marriage equality laws show that it is happening slowly but surely.

The reason that we have to be shown the way at each and every step is purely human nature. We are just wired to form groups and to believe that our group is the only group who is right, and other groups are substandard and not worthy of the same rights and privileges that we enjoy. In the end, however, the Constitution and its principles of the rights and freedoms of the individual will always win out.




posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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I see we have a budding revisionist. Please stop trying to revise our history, TPTB will get mad.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:36 PM
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I found your post extremely well written, and think it's important to remind others of how and why our Constitution matters so much also. I especially liked how you mention that groups tend to think they are more important than others. The same applies regarding the seperate groups of our government/country, and the nations of our world as well. Left wing this, right wing that. Anyhoo, definitely S&F worthy writing there.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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Actually Hamilton and his group didn't even want the Bill of Rights included. They thought what was written in the Constitution was enough but in order to get Jefferson and his side to support the Constitution they capitulated. So actually they didn't think it was that important.

At least about half of them didn't.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


I certainly hope that was sarcasm...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


No sarcasm. Do I need to teach you a history lesson or are you able to research it yourself?

The rest of your post is fine but this area you are incorrect in. The Bill of Rights was only added after the Constitution was written because Jefferson didn't think there was enough protection for individuals. It was an afterthought to the Constitution.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by kro32
Actually Hamilton and his group didn't even want the Bill of Rights included. They thought what was written in the Constitution was enough but in order to get Jefferson and his side to support the Constitution they capitulated. So actually they didn't think it was that important.

At least about half of them didn't.
Not quite. They "didn't see the need", because they could not imagine a world like ours. They thought that everybody knew that the contents of the bill of rights would go without saying. I mean look how loosely they worded this stuff. They figured that by saying "all rights NOT SPECIFICALLY GIVEN" the federal government were reserved for the states and the people. Look at how badly the federal government has overstepped it's bounds as a result. The founding fathers would likely kick our collective a$$e$ up and down the block over what we have allowed the federal government to become. King George wishes he had the powers that the feds currently have over us.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


My point was that the OP is contributing far to much importance that the founding fathers placed on the Bill of Rights when in actuallity not all of them thought it was needed. However to get it passed they needed to add the Bill of Rights.

Political wrangling at it's finest from our very beginning.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by kro32
 


Who said I was talking to you? Also, it was the minority opinion that it was not needed. Most feared that without it, the government would have too much power over the people, both on the State and Federal level.

My reply was to sonofliberty, which if you read the ENTIRE post, you would have realized...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by JaxonRoberts
 


Ok then I've made my point.

Thanks for the lively debate though.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
reply to post by kro32
 


Who said I was talking to you? Also, it was the minority opinion that it was not needed. Most feared that without it, the government would have too much power over the people, both on the State and Federal level.

My reply was to sonofliberty, which if you read the ENTIRE post, you would have realized...
I knew that, but no reply was really needed or asked for.



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by kro32
 


I hardly call it debate, especially since you read more into the OP then what is actually written. You turned one sentence into this historical 'debate' when that sentence is so ambiguous that it say's nothing of politics of the time. One could almost deduce that you were trolling this thread...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
In the end, however, the Constitution and its principles of the rights and freedoms of the individual will always win out.


That is an incredibly bold closing statement. Might you elaborate on why you think that is so?



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 08:41 PM
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reply to post by METACOMET
 


It always has up to this point, I see no change in the future as well. I should also add that the OP was written as an essay assignment for my English class, and I felt it was post-worthy as well...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
This is the first nation on earth that was founded on the principle that each and every individual citizen has the same rights and freedoms as every other citizen.


...no... those principles were only applicable if you were not indigenous, not a black slave, not an indentured servant or not a female... that those issues were fixed later via ammendments does not alter the original deal or the supremacist mindset of the "penners" and those they represented...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
It is based on the rights and freedoms of the individual, not the will of the majority or the decree of those who govern the nation.


...no... that those freedoms were not extended to the indigenous, black slaves, indentured servants or females proves (beyond of a shadow of doubt) that the will of the majority was indeed the primary controlling factor...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
The majority of settlers who came to the New World came here for religious freedom. The Puritans, Quakers, Mennonites, Dunkers, Schwenkfelders, Moravians as well as the Jews and the Catholics all came here for the freedom to follow their religions without the rebuke of the State or their neighbors.


...you left out the part where those immigrants created a hell worse than the one they left for the people that already lived here...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


...only applicable if you were not indigenous, not a black slave, not an indentured servant or not a female...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
These were new and foreign concepts at the time.


...no... those were very old tribal concepts that were prevalent all over the world, even in britain and europe before christianity became the most popular tool to control the masses...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
The very first individual right mentioned in the Bill of Rights is the very same one that brought the original settlers to the Americas in the first place, freedom of religion.


...that right was never afforded to the indigenous... as recent as the early-mid 1970s, many indigenous religions were illegal... to this very day, some ndn religious ceremonies still cannot be performed without federal permission...

...and you also left the federal government's religious oppression of the mormons, who had to alter their religion in order to gain statehood for utah...


Originally posted by JaxonRoberts
In the end, however, the Constitution and its principles of the rights and freedoms of the individual will always win out.


...there are parts of it that are valuable but not as you cited them and certainly not for the reasons you cited... to start to move past the archaic controls that such myths perpetuate, every citizen needs to stop believing everything they hear that rings their patriotic bell - and - start analyzing every concept thats attributed to "our way of life" to see if those concepts are really good or just a really good facade...

...how free is a citizen who has to fight their way all the way to the supreme court to have their constitutionally guaranteed rights respected?... answer: not very...

...and what if you get there (which is extraordinarily expensive) and the supreme court decides not to hear your case or rules against you?... answer: you're back to square one - a citizen with only a facade of freedom...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


we are not free. However, we strive to be. We certainly are more "free" than our founding fathers' fathers were.
This is exactly why we need to remind ourselves that freedom is NOT free nor for the faint hearted. Ask yourself, this: would you give up your family, your life, your possessions, your profession, your know friends, and become a fugative a terrorist? in essence. That is what our founders did. Or at least most of them. Many lost their lives, their families, their names, their lands and money, and their hope so that we could hope and dream and watch NFL football. (Ok that was a joke) but really..........if you are going to be a patriot then understand to support and defend the constitution as it is today.........is costly, a life long endeavor and as such the powers that want to smash it burn it and bring humanity back to the times of feudal rule are a clear and present danger. Be wise and watch for the wolf in sheeps clothes..........



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by Wyn Hawks
 


Chip on your shoulder... Yeah, you're doing it right!

Apparently you missed, well THE ENTIRE OP!!! It took CENTURIES to ram these principles down the majority's throat, and is still being done today, as evidenced with the gay rights movement.

Nobody ever said it was an easy road, but those who crafted the Constitution were smart and wise enough to see that which some of us still can't seem to see...



posted on Aug, 18 2011 @ 10:34 PM
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...jax... i dont have a problem with you promoting your own agenda via this thread... i do have issues with your interpretations of the doi and the constitution, which is why i posted my opinion... rather than project your own chips onto my shoulder, the mature thing to do would be to take what you can find of value in my post and ignore the rest or just ignore the whole thing... whatever choice you make is none of my biz... totally your call...



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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I'm not seeing a clear connection betwee the Title of the thread and the body of your post. How am I not patriotic?



posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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edit on 19-8-2011 by type0civ because: Removed my statement and or question due to i'm getting senile



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