Saturday, December 1, 2012

Why Rights Matter

No matter what anyone tells you, the Constitution of the United States of America is a document created to protect the people from the government and to limit the powers of central government in this country. The first ten amendments to that constitution specifically state certain freedoms held by individuals and the various states. This Bill of Rights is full of things that can only be taken from someone as punishment for their own personal wrongdoing, not as a reaction to the actions of others. It is the most important part of our government, and it must be defended.

The first thing to understand about these rights is that they are not specific to any group. No race, creed, or religion is singled out as having any special claim to nor prohibition from any of these rights. They are inalienable and immutable human rights held by every man, woman, and child. Therefore, I believe that talking specifically about women's rights, gay rights, or the freedoms of any specific religion or group is unnecessary. The defense of human rights covers all of these things, and more.

I am able to sit here and write this today without the government telling me what I can and cannot post thanks to my freedom of speech. I can go to a synagogue one day and a mosque the next thanks to my freedom of religion. More importantly, I can speak my mind about religion for better or worse. I can call religion silly if I choose, and an anonymous commenter can call me evil for doing so. Without the First Amendment none of this is possible.

The first is the easiest one, and thankfully the least trounced upon in our country. Many of the others are highly abridged and greatly misunderstood by the people. So much so, in fact, that many Americans actually believe that they do not truly have a constitutional right to gun ownership. The truth is, you do. It's simple, "... the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." By extention, any law that necessitates a financial burden beyond the cost of the gun in order to achieve that right is unconstitutional. If you can't charge a person in order to let them exercise any of their other rights, then why this one? Enough on that, for now.

I don't want to get too bogged down in the rest of the amendments because most of those are much longer subjects than just a paragraph. Just understand that these ten amendments are the guiding principles to many of my political points of view and they will be relied upon heavily in this blog. Welcome to Re: Liberty, I'm glad you came.


Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

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