Bill of Rights:(n) the first ten amendments to the US Constitution
So you’re sittin’ around with your buddies and you’ve just written a Constitution for a new little country which you have dubbed “The United States of America.”
You have high hopes.
But honestly, taking a peek at history, the life expectancy of such a national prospect is very dim.
Meanwhile, you’ve gone to the pub to celebrate your endeavor, and while talking with your friends, it occurs to you that you left out guarantees for personal freedom.
You feel a little silly, right?
So almost immediately, you go in and amend your document by adding ten ideas which guarantee that no tyrant will ever again trample on the God-given personal pursuits of any individual citizen.
Man, it seems noble.
But moving ahead a couple hundred years, we have the situation where the prevention of one tyrant opens the door to over three hundred million of them, as each person determines the boundaries of his or her actions, based upon the Bill of Rights.
This places us in a powder keg of controversy, with each citizen fearing they are being set aside in favor of honoring the liberties of another.
What is missing from the Bill of Rights? Some old-fashioned, damn common sense.
For instance, freedom of speech sounds really good until you actually have to sit and listen to one which is completely filled with nonsense and vitriol.
The right to bear arms may have once been practical, when single shot muskets took a minute to load and had no potential for rapidly firing, killing dozens at a time.
It goes on and on.
Oh, wait. There’s the Fifth Amendment, which supposedly protects us against self-incrimination, while actually ending up being a confession in parenthesis.
Just as people who translate science and the Bible as being immutable and without need of edit, those who worship the Constitution and its amendments fail to realize that the Founding Fathers were really just a bunch of goofs who got tired of being pushed around by crazy King George.
What they wrote and believed is neither supreme nor self-contained.
It is up to the intelligence of each generation to find the common good of all the citizens without making it seem that America is a restaurant with only tables built for one