Howdy from Texas. I thank Professor Knipprath for joining us today, and all of you who have joined us on our blog.
When Juliette and I were in Boston we ran into a semi- circle of statues surrounding the American flag. One of the statues was inscribed “Religion” and the statue was of a man praying as he looked up to the flag. The other statue was inscribed “Industry” and it was a man at work. The other statue was inscribed “Learning” and it was a young man reading a book.
These are the three virtues that keep America great.
1. Religion – a moral basis for our lives and a moral compass for our country
2. Industry – the great American work ethic, free enterprise
3. Learning – as John Adams said, “Liberty can not be preserved with out a general knowledge of the people.”
I say, “Liberty can not be sustained with out a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.”
Americans are grossly void of such knowledge, even with the “Cultural Elite.” Recently, a respected political analyst stated that the Constitution denied him and women the right to vote.
This statement represents the negative knee jerk reaction to the Constitution and why the “irrelevancy” aspect permeates our society. The rest of the panel piped in about the Amendments, saying that they are a part of the Constitution, to which this particular analyst commented that they should then be taught with the Constitution.
Well, the Amendments ARE the Constitution, the continuation of our Constitution. They tell the history of our country, warts and all, in an honest and forthright way. Why wouldn’t it be taught? The continuing pages of our Constitution mirror our country’s continuation. The amendment process was stipulated in the Constitution because our founding fathers knew the “genius of the people” would want to make changes. It is there for all of us to see – past, present and future generations – the growth of our country and thus the relevancy that the Constitution imbues.
The most ironic question begs, why would this political analyst assume that Cathy and I would want to start a foundation that stresses the learning of a Constitution that would deny African Americans the right to vote, deny women the right to vote? Not to mention, deny the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments?
This is the great challenge that we Constitutionalists encounter today – the misinterpretation of the Constitution – the easy, convenient dismissal of the Constitution as antiquated – the mantra that it is a document that is to be tossed aside.
When we, as Americans toss aside our Constitution, we toss aside our individual liberties. Tread on the Constitution and we tread on our freedoms.
Disregard our roadmap and we lose our way.
Dishonor the principles and we lose our dignity.
Renounce its structure and we lose our footing.
Blight its flame and we die in the darkness of a people who knew not, sought not, her own country’s light.
The learning of our Constitution is the moral industry of our day.
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010