Constitution

The new congress convened today…the 112th.
With claims of honesty, integrity and returning the government to the people, this august group decided that one of its first priorities was to read “the entire” constitution.

Mountain Remnants in New Mexico  by rcw

Unfortunately, they did not.

What they did read was an “alternate” version, cutting out early amendments that were changed by later ones and knocking out certain words that might be deemed offensive.  Why?

Reading the document like that makes no sense.  It makes it sound like suddenly we citizens have the right to drink and so on….totally erasing the history that got us there.  Some folks might think this is no big thing, after all we are where we are now.  Some even consider the entire document as “old hat,” nothing more than a pretty piece of paper full of antiquated sentiment.

They are sadly mistaken.

The Constitution is a living, breathing, vibrant thing….relevant today as ever for not only its current additions, but for those earlier amendments as well because they show us where we were, the mistakes we overcame. Those things are important too.  We need to know our nation for its battle scars and imperfections, because these are a part of who we are and lend ideas for directions of where we want to go next.  Retaining them is an effort to protect us from our own natural ability to ignore experience and repeat mistakes.  After all, we are only human.

Another problem with this most recent reading was the very noticeable exclusion of a certain phrase which has been spoken since the passage was first written….I speak of the Presidential Oath of Office.

Some people may not have given it a second thought, but to me (and hopefully others) it stuck out like a huge, blaring red flag…..the exclusion?  The final phrase of the Oath itself….the one that reminds each President that they are NOT the end all and be all of power, that their trust is derived from something greater than themselves.  A simple phrase, more like a prayer really….

“So Help Me God.”

This four word sentence, spoken by our presidents down through the ages, has been made to fall by the way-side.  Why?

There’s a claim of Political Correctness, of not wishing to offend anyone…..but this doesn’t make sense.
Other nations are permitted to house their beliefs in their documents, unless of course they’ve gone through a social/governmental upheaval.  Then the founding language is scattered to the wind in favor of what is deemed “modern interpretation.”

Who does this serve, really?  The citizens?  How?  Denying them their history?  Doesn’t make sense to me.
We learn from our past.  If we erase our past, we are set on a collision course with the future rather than a smooth transition.  

As children, kids of my generation and older were  taught to learn from our mistakes.  We were taught to build on our past experiences…not repeating things that don’t work.  The only way we knew not to repeat the same mistakes was to remember what they were.  This was done through quizzes, homework, review.
I don’t know how children are being taught these days, but I have seen some of the more recent school books and am sorely baffled. History is no longer history…it’s been shifted and spun, turned inside out on itself like cotton candy.  Bright, colorful, sweet with no substance.  Okay for a circus treat, but as far as learning tools go there’s a great deal lacking, and what’s left has been filtered to reflect only certain points of view.

In some states, children are segregated into their heritage groups and taught only that history!  Like we’re training our kids to be segregationists!  Outrageously silly if wasn’t so scary.

Our country is in a state of  that silliness…dangerous, scary silliness.  And this new congress seems to be going along with this silly tide rather than changing course.

No, I am not in favor of doing away with rights that have been long fought for and won.  But I am in favor of restoring our founding documents to their true nature, and I am in favor of our nation becoming our nation again…rather than what is going on right now.

It’s a shame to have to say this, but this latest congress has yet to impress me with anything more than that old standard quote, brought to us by Pete Townsend of the Who:
“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss….”     What a shame!

So for today, Fifty Five Is the New Constitution…and a prayer that we restore it to its intended state, complete with all imperfections, band aids and old-timey sentiment….because that’s who we really are, and it’s also the only way we’re really going to know where  we’re going next.

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