It may not be a holiday that is written on your calendar, but today marks the day that the Bill or Rights was ratified by the first United States Congress. It's ironic that we would see the passage of a bill in today's Congress that completely disregards this famous legislation, but it is worth noting what rights we have and how we got them.
The Bill of Rights was well ahead of its time when it was ratified, and is still considered one of the most humanistic pieces of legislation. Considering the conditions in many other parts of the world, it seems amazing that a group of people could come together and craft a set of laws that protected people's rights so completely that they have only been revised a few times in the years since its adoption.
Of course, there are those who believe that our society and government are meant to function on the bare bones of the original law. I find this position ridiculous because it flies in the face of the way our laws were laid down, and the very actions of our founders. Those who believe this today say that our executive and legislative branches are only supposed to operate in the strict limits set forth in the constitution and bill of rights, but neglect to point out that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson presided over a government that expanded its power beyond those confines. Furthermore, it neglects to point out the system of lawmaking, and how the legislature was designed to grant itself powers over time. If the founders did not want this to happen, why include a mechanism to do it?
Our government is meant to be a group that thrives on change, that uses the bill or rights and constitution as models for its growth and progress. We live in an age our forefathers could not have imagined, and it is ridiculous to believe that their solutions will work today.
So, Happy Bill Of Rights Day! Remember that you have rights to be protected, that cannot be taken, and that we stand on the cusp of a battle to retain those rights. We are close to losing fundamental parts of our liberties that make us citizens and make our country great. We cannot sacrifice freedom for security, because we will end up safe from foreign enemies but victims of enemies domestic. We cannot sell the soul of our country to protect its body, nor can we allow our own protections to be taken to protect us.
Remember, remember, remember that we are the ones who are meant to have the power, and that government is our servant.