The irony is that most of us honor the Fourth of July because we believe it’s a day on which Americans secured their freedom. But the truth is that the Declaration of Independence really only secured freedom for white and wealthy men [mjh: landowners]. It took freedom of speech, press, religion, petition and assembly — the five freedoms of the First Amendment — to lead to suffrage for women, the emancipation of slaves and equality for all. Please join in celebrating freedom this Dec. 15. It’s long overdue.
No modern committee, especially one full of attorneys, I’m sorry to say, could come up with such a succinct yet powerful document. Two hundred-twenty years later, we are still striving to get there, but we have the map. The Constitution is a living document subject to the times. Claiming “original intent” is the height of arrogance and ignorance.
Originally 12 amendments were proposed to the legislatures of the 14 states by the First Congress. [read more…]