Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Morality and the Constitution

I am not by any means a Constitutional attorney nor am I a theologian. But I am a moderately intelligent individual who reads and knows how to listen. So here goes...

Morality can mean different things to different people. It generally depends on the values you were raised with. Compassion is another one of those things that has to be taught, you aren't born with it. When you have a government, or any other type of "leader" be it a CEO, President, Congress, Pastor, or Parent, that does not place any value on morality or compassion, they will corrupt the values of every person "under" them simply by communal morality. If it isn't seen as wrong for a business to overcharge for a product or service simply because they can, every employee learns how to get that extra dollar from the customer. Other businesses see that company making money, so they implement the same doctrine. Pretty soon, the entire industry is overcharging for their products.

It is the same for all aspects of our lives. If it is permissible for teens to dress in a provocative manner and behave in certain ways, then ALL teens will do so due to peer pressure.

On the other side of that coin, if we encourage our children to be modest, kind, caring and helpful of others, it too will have a ripple effect.

The problem is that the media does not help us to encourage family values and is actually counter-productive of our efforts to raise our children. We are encouraged to buy things we do not need, therefore reinforcing the "need" for more money. How do we make more money? By working for companies that are not as concerned with the morality of their actions, just the bottom line. We are told that it "takes a village" so parents do not take the time to raise their children (they are too busy working to make enough money for the things they are told they need) because the teachers at school will raise their kids for them. Corporal Punishment hurts a child's self-esteem so we cannot teach our children that actions have consequences or some "well meaning" busy-body neighbor will report us to Child Services.

When you have an entire generation of kids who see the rich getting richer off of the backs of others, of course they will want to be the ones getting money. And they will teach that same morality to their kids.

As for the Constitution, it was written to protect the citizens FROM the government. Read the Bill of Rights. That is what the Founding Fathers wanted to emphasize.
Congress 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.

We have the right to say what we want, worship how we wish, gather in groups, and tell the government they are wrong.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

We have the right to protect ourselves, even from the government, if we feel threatened.

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

We do not have to let the military into our homes without our consent. Not that big of an issue now, but at the time, it was a major issue. The British government forced landowners to house and feed military units at their own cost instead of the government having to pay for it. It bankrupted and starved many families.

No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This one is abused a lot these days, all in the name of public security.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Speedy trials are a joke with the overburdened justice system, and Public Defenders are the least knowledgeable and least effective of all criminal trial attorneys. But we do have a right to them.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Trial by jury, even when the jury is stacked, doesn't really seem like a good deal, but compared to the trials in good old England at the time, where all trials were before a panel of the ruling class and the poor were punished simply for being poor, was a major step up for justice.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

What! No torture in the jails? No fines designed to put you in debtors prison? But I digress....

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The government only has the rights the people give it. Those rights the people do not turn over to the government cannot be infringed upon by the government. It says so right there on #9 of the Bill of Rights. It also says that you have any right that doesn't infringe on anyone else's rights.

and finally..
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The States have rights too, that the Federal government cannot, by Law, infringe upon. And the people of those states also have rights that the federal and state governments cannot infringe upon.

None of these articles in the Bill of Rights are really, truly valid any more because we as a people have turned over most of our rights to the government. Subsequent amendments and precedents established by interpreting judges have severely limited the rights of normal citizens, but the fact remains that the Founding Fathers were trying to limit the amount of interference the government could inflict in our daily lives.

My personal take on the whole thing was that the federal government was designed to be a regulating body for the states, not the other way around. As it stands now, the States are subservient to the Federal Government, and the people have become dependent on a strong centralized government that was not designed to be be that way. It creates waste, abuses, and wide loopholes for corruption.

OK, enough soapbox preaching. This is too long as it is.

Again, these are just my opinions. Take them as such.

1 comment:

Yukon Mike said...

I think you nailed it. Our government is totally corrupt, out of control and making everyday life for productive people now impossible today. We are, I believe, past the point of no return and very hard days are ahead for all of us.

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