Today is not a widely honored holiday here in the United States of America. But it should be.
Long story short, December 15 is Bill of
Rights Day. It was declared in 1941 by President Franklin Roosevelt, at the request of Congress. Since then, however, it has been largely
ignored. The Bill of Rights is a key part of what makes America
America. (Or at least, what America's supposed to be.)
Yes, America often strays from the principles it outlines (along
with our other founding documents). That has been the source of many of
our troubles as a country. Far from meaning that we should ignore it,
that makes it all the more important to remember it, honor it -- and insist
that our government obey it.
So far, so good, right?
Now comes the tough part. Some of you may be big fans of,
say, the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech... but not
so much, say, the Second Amendment's guarantees of the right to keep and bear
arms (i.e., own and carry weapons, such as guns). Or you may be a big fan
of the Second, but not so much the Fourth Amendment's guarantees of privacy. Who knows,
you might even object to the Third Amendment's protections against troops being quartered
in private homes in peacetime without the owner's consent.
Well, too bad! We must honor all of the Bill of
Rights, and for that matter the rest of the Constitution, or it doesn't mean a thing.
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