Introducing: The American Constitution

household-flag-decorationCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That’s the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It’s straightforward and apparently so important, our forefathers made it the first one.

Last week’s presidential decree barring non-Christians from certain Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is a clear violation of the first ten words of the Amendment. Look, nobody wants terrorists sneaking into the country and killing us, but this was counterproductive. More attention needs to be paid to the dangerous people who are already here and willing to murder for their various ideologies.

And don’t tell me this wasn’t a Muslim ban. The president has been quoted as saying that he will let Christian refugees have priority over the others. It starts with the Muslims, then who’s to say that other religions wouldn’t be next? What if the next geographic targets are Catholic-majority nations, like the ones I’m descended from? How would people feel then?

…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…

The press has always been responsible for fact-checking and accuracy. This is nothing new. If something false is published with malicious intent about a person, that person often has the right to sue for libel. But if you don’t like facts that are published about you, you probably cannot sue about it. Here it is, explained by the Washington Post: “American journalists are not “allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it.” But they are protected by a legal standard known as “actual malice” when sued by public figures. According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, “Actual malice means that a statement was made with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether or not it was false.”‘

…the right of the people to peaceably assemble…

I took to Snopes, my favorite online bs detector, about this one. I’m all about peaceful assembly. I loved visiting Faneuil Hall in Boston because it’s the birthplace of some of that Eighteenth Century rabble-rousing that founded our nation. We have a history of speaking out against injustice.

I cannot imagine being stuck in traffic caused by demonstrators taking over the highways. But roadway takeovers have become necessary as more and more people

…petition the government for a redress of grievances

It’s important to visibly show disagreement if a governmental action is unlawful or morally odious. I have never seen so much passionate, eloquent discourse against an American president. You can’t cap the number of demonstrators. If an opinion is widely shared among many people, it would be necessary to literally “take the message to the streets.”

This is the time to speak out against unlawful behavior by our government employees. (Yes, even the president is an employee of the taxpayers.) Talk to each other, don’t let the rulers keep us divided. Resist the urge to sit home, wringing your hands and worrying without taking some action.

These are some other blogs that stepped up to the challenges to resist and speak out:

The Seven Countries in Trump’s Travel Ban

Speaking of Speaking Out

Speaking My Peace: Reflecting on the Boston Women’s March

Speaking Out: Narcissism

Condemned To Exciting Times

We Must Resist

Resist The Urge To Do Nothing…Protest

The Devastation Has Begun: Can The Pink Hats Save Us?

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Introducing: The American Constitution

  1. I have to say you brought it to the surface with this one. Although I am a voting citizen of United States and I truly uphold the Constitution, my values are placed higher than that… which are the words of the Bible. We may not agree with our new President and we don’t have to even like him but the Bible says we have to love him. Tough one but it’s still, what our God, who is in control, wants us to do. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

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  2. Thanks, Linda, for sharing a link to my post and for speaking out for our country’s constitution. If I hear “Let’s Make America Great Again” one more time, I’m gonna hurl.
    Our country is already great and it’s because we’re a melting pot of people who have been granted religious, political and other freedoms within a democracy. We’re a land of hope and opportunity. That’s why people want to come here. Our President and his cronies are making a mockery of this and I can barely stand it. I hope the U.S. makes it through the next four years without become the joke of the world.

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  3. It has been LESS THAN TWO WEEKS since Number 45 took office. LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. Doesn’t it feel so much longer than that? How much devastation, human misery, fear, environmental destruction, abrogation of constitutional rights will be see before we get to the other end of this?

    It’s going to be a very, very long four years. I hope I have the tenacity to survive it. Thanks for the shout out. Every little bit helps. We may each have a small voice, but altogether, we make a much bigger noise.

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