Comments about ‘Bill of Rights a live wire, 222 years later’

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Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 9:05 p.m. MDT

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Mark from Montana
Aurora, CO

Sam Seaborn: It's not just about abortion, it's about the next 20 years. In the '20s and '30s it was the role of government. '50s and '60s it was civil rights. The next two decades are going to be privacy. I'm talking about the Internet. I'm talking about cell phones. I'm talking about health records and who's gay and who's not. And moreover, in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?

He didn't say freedom of speech because it should have already been settled. To be arrested for the comments made by the 18 year old in TX is a complete violation of his rights. Is it any wonder that so many people do not trust any form of government?

FDRfan
Sugar City, ID

We are being set up so that if we say anything opposing gay marriages we will be prosecuted. Wait and see.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

We are living in a world that could not be thought of as anything but science fiction to many of us during our youth.
The "rules" we had back then do not apply now due to technological advances. Changes, most for the better, are occurring in everything imaginable and moving faster than lightening.
Re- working EVERYTHING is necessary, but impatience, frustration, and fear prevails. Society does not know which way to turn.
No one has the answers at this time. We will all have to work together and learn to accept change and make adjustments, or we will get lost or run over as the universe passes us by.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

America is not a democracy and never was. And as time goes bye we are getting further and further from the concept of government by the people. America will never even approach democracy until the influence and control of our government is taken away from that part of society known as the business interests.

The notion of individual liberty and protection for the people as proposed by business interests are really the agenda to remove the power, authority and threat to business interests of the American people as a whole. The best example found in nature where the predators work to separate the individual from the herd. The best example in our society is the business interests war against workers unions.

As for data about you, the real truth is that business interests are collecting far more data than the government and are much more likely to use it to your disadvantage

Nosea
Forest Grove, OR

The government has strayed so far from the US Constitution (separation of powers has turned into complete and absolute despotism) and has trampled all over the Bill of Rights (note the NSA spying on all of us as citizens without probable cause of any crime), and I have to conclude that I no longer feel patriotic about my native land. In fact I feel the opposite, a huge disgust with how far we have strayed from the ideals of the Founding Fathers, and an utter disdain for those who govern and have governed over the last decade or so (they are corrupt to the bone, with very few exceptions).

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT

John Rehnquist was almost prophetic about today in his Roe v Wade dissent.

"To reach its result, the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment."

The danger is that the growing generations today accept the philosophy of "I make the Bill of Rights what I want them to be", instead of actually adhering to something they didn't author. Even self-government still requires governing. Being a law unto one's self does not satisfy that. It's moral relativism.

Relativism isn't just flawed because it cannot stand, but because it's a lie.

The lie, illustrated via dialogue:

Relativist: "No morality imposed or legalized whatsoever"
Hitler: "Okay, I'm going to kill people then"
Relativist: "No, you can't. As long as you don't harm someone, THEN you can do whatever you want."

Saying "Conditions are wrong, as long as..." imposes pure inequality via one person authoring supreme laws by which all other people and laws must submit to.

Relativists fight against freedom and seek supreme power- all while being hoodwinked by a doctrine that is a lie.

Fitz
Murray, UT

This article makes a good start pointing out deviations from our Constitution. But it is much broader than the Bill of Rights, it is the deviation from the Articles of the Constitution as well. Congress passes laws that they know, or should know, violate the Constitution. The last few Presidents have usurped Congressional authority and choose to ignore their oath when it comes to enforcing laws passed by Congress. The Judicial Branch has, in so many ways, interpreted the Constitution in a manner that would embarrass the Founding Fathers.

In "Commentaries on the Constitution," Justice Story wrote, "Nor should it ever be lost sight of, that the government of the United States is one of limited and enumerated powers; and that a departure from the true import and sense of its powers is, pro tanto, the establishment of a new constitution."

I believe that the the actions of the Federal Government, since FDR, have departed from the "true import" of the Constitution, essentially establishing a new constitution. I place the majority of the blame on "We the People," we have placed a blind and undeserved trust in our elected leaders. It is time the "People" reclaim our Constitution.

spring street
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

@I know it

So because others choose to base their morality on compassion and reason rather then a mystic belief in some higher power they are being relativistic? I am sorry but I find that those that base their morality on internal controls like compassion and reason to be far less relativistic in their thoughts and actions then those that rely on an external locus of control that comes from modern religion,

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

@spring street
If a person reject moral absolutes, the only moral law remaining is moral relativism. By definition, secular humanists reject moral absolutes. There can be no moral absolutes in a philosophy which depends on the ever changing understanding of science. Each person must decide what their "compassion and reason" determine to be moral, yet their understanding of the world could change tomorrow, which changes their "compassion and reason". Thus the term "moral relativism", morality which is relative to the understanding of a person in a particular time and place.

To bring the whole topic back to the article. The US Constitution and US Bill of Rights (which are an outgrowth of the Christian culture dominant at the time of their drafting) define legal and structural absolutes for our country. This is the flaw which Constitutional Constructionist share with moral relativists (Secularists). They want to re-create the Constitution to "fit" today's time and place. They reject that it already works as originally intended, without re-interpreting it every generation.

Both Moral Relativism and Constitutional Constructionism introduce chaos and discord into a stable society by changing/undermining the rules that society was built on.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@I know it --

"Relativists fight against freedom and seek supreme power- all while being hoodwinked by a doctrine that is a lie."

ALL morality is relative to some extent or other. And ALL morality evolves over time.

Do you believe in slavery? Do you believe that women are inferior to men? Do you support a ban on all divorces? Do you support stoning to death people who divorce and remarry? Do you support killing children for showing disrespect to their children? Do you support genocide?

ALL of these things (and many others) were espoused at some point or other in the Bible -- yet most of us do not support them today. Our sense of morality has evolved through the years.

And even moral precepts that we still believe -- like "Thou shalt not kill" -- are relative.

Our government sanctions killing every time it carries out the death penalty. We sanction killing every time we declare self-defense to be a valid reason for shooting someone. That commandment is quite absolute -- "Thou SHALT NOT kill" -- yet we apply it, like all other morality, in a very relative manner.

People who believe that morality is absolute and unchanging are just kidding themselves.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@kirk

Morals based on compassion and reason will change over time as knowledge and understanding grows but to claim it leads to chaos is a stretch by any reasoning. On the other hand a rigid adherence to a archaic writings from men that lived in a time with much different realities then we face in our modern world seems not only unwise but dangerous. I think the reason we see so much relativism from those that claim religion as their base is because the ancient writings no longer have the ability to respond to our modern reality leading to selective reading and adherence to them by those that claim it as a base for their morality.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

The older I get, the more I appreciate the power, scope and wisdom of the Bill of Rights.

I see many attempts from both liberals and conservatives to limit or even change the Bill of Rights and limit our freedoms. We should treat any such efforts with extreme distrust.

Don't like private gun ownership? I understand.

Think the media goes too far? I get it.

But whatever your issue (and I must admit to having a few of my own) we should proceed VERY carefully when considering limitations on our fundamental rights.

But times have changed and the principles have not kept pace. I know. But they have proven themselves to be important principles for over two centuries. We should think, think again, and then again before we change them to suit the circumstances of the day.

Tators
Hyrum, UT

Moral relativists are a lot like modern progressives who proclaim that our Constitution is a living document and use that as an excuse to further their own particular political agendas. That is truly a slippery slope where the real danger lies.

God established the first and still ongoing moral absolutes. The 10 Commandments are as applicable today as ever. Lies are always subservient to truths. Fidelity in a marriage will always trump infidelity. Murdering innocent people has always been wrong since Cain slayed Abel. And the list goes on and on.

God is the same yesterday, today and in the future. He is unchanging, as well he should be. He created us and knows what is best for us. We guess at what we think might be best for us. He doesn't. Our main job is just to be wise enough to keep listening to God and quit trying to pretend He is an evolving being who keeps changing to meet our current wants. We only deceive ourselves in doing so.

The Constitution has also passed the test of time. We need to quit re-interpreting it to fit our current, temporary wants.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Salt Lake City, UT

Kirk R Graves & Tators...

Well said!

Contrarius,

People who believe that peace and law can exist when morality can be determined by whim and popular trend are kidding themselves.

I never claimed that you must accept my version of morality because it is not relative. My antecedent was that relativism is self-defeating and that peace, law, justice, and any sense of equality (by any persuasion or definition) cannot exist when laws are formed arbitrarily.

Relativism is exactly that, arbitrary. If you believe that your laws can be just and fair by making them 'whatever you want', you surely have missed the mark. Passion unbridled and law cannot coexist. If you believe in any degree of fairness or justice, then some amount of self-restraint must be calculated in law making.

You either "govern yourself" or you don't. You can't pretend that law and order exist, when the very nature of your laws are to be altered the moment you don't like them.

The rest of us want to work together to find compromise, meanwhile relativists seek to destroy peace and replace it with destruction.

In the end, we will be proved.

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