A cartoon making its way around e-mail and Facebook recently featured a drawing of 3 children sitting in a hallway outside the principal’s office, apparently waiting to go inside to face the music for whatever misdeed had been committed. The text balloons above the heads of these innocents told the story. The first one said, “I said the s-h word.” The next proclaimed, “I said the f word.” And the third child said, “I said Christmas.”
Sadly, this cartoon is a reflection of how many of us see American culture today. I believe we, as a nation, have lost sight of the role of government as outlined in the Constitution. We have forgotten the sacrifices of those great men and women who many years ago created the framework for the role of government in our country.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the Bill of Rights. Amendment I reads, “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.”
You can abhor it but you cannot ignore it. This is the law of our land and if we deny and disregard our basic freedoms, we are no longer Americans.
Although we may voice dissatisfaction, too often we remain complacent and unengaged when the time is right to take action. We fail to call lawmakers to voice our support or to deter action on a particular bill or bills. We fail to educate ourselves and those around us about proposed rules and regulations. We accept without questioning that those who govern always have the best interest of the citizens in mind. We trust that lawmakers will, unequivocally, follow the Constitution.
I would like to see a movement toward constitutional correctness. For years now we’ve had political correctness shoved down our throats. We are not supposed to offend an individual’s or a group’s political sensibilities. What are political sensibilities anyway? What about constitutional sensibilities? Shouldn’t we all place a greater importance on upholding our Constitution?
Thomas Jefferson penned the eloquent and unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . .”
We, my friends, are the governed. We have awesome responsibility and opportunity as Americans. The pages of our constitution are not stuck together. There are no retractions or new rules hidden in this document.
Perhaps it is not politically correct, but I know it is constitutionally correct for me to join the little cartoon boy waiting outside the principal’s office in saying Merry Christmas!