Surge Summary: September 17th is supposed to be Constitution Day in the United States — commemorating the nation’s extraordinary founding document. How many Americans had no idea about that?
Caught up in genuinely important news of Iran’s raid on Saudi Arabian oil fields or, conversely, the comparative soap opera of the Left’s freshest batch of baseless allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, how many Americans spared a thought for their country’s lately beleaguered founding charter?
That was what yesterday was supposed to be about, right? In 2004, Congress designated September 17 “Constitution Day” — that particular date marks the day two-hundred-thirty-two years ago when Constitutional Convention delegates in Philadelphia signed the historic document.
But, as with so many weighty matters these days which are buried under societal trifles or nudged aside by other significant but competing concerns, it seemed like “Constitution Day” was overwhelmed and overlooked this time around.
On this federal observance, publicly funded schools and federal agencies are supposed to provide educational programming on the story behind the magisterial document. Did they? Hope so, but from what I observed going on just about everywhere else most of the day, I wouldn’t be confident of it.
Over at Lifezette.com, My Faith Votes’ Jason Yates provided a nice meditation on what the day was supposed to commemorate. Check out this excerpt. If you missed September 17th’s intended focus, here’s good news: Better late than never! September 18th ain’t a bad time to cogitate a moment on the parchment that changed the course of things in America – and around the world.
Individual freedom, its pursuit and protection, has defined the American experiment. Our country fought for its independence from Britain because its citizens felt their freedoms were being squashed.
Once we had secured independence, though, the Founding Fathers faced a put-up-or-shut-up moment: Could the ideals that roused a people to fight a bloody revolution equally rouse them to peacefully govern themselves? …
They tried — and failed — repeatedly, in fact, to build a nationwide consensus for how the country should be formed.
America’s first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, collapsed after less than a decade on the books. The Articles left the central federal government too weak to enforce laws or nationwide standards. …
So America’s early leaders had to try again. This time, they struck genius.
The Constitution of the United States is the most remarkable governing document in history.
The practical structure of government that the U.S. Constitution outlines is itself ingenious. Never before was such a sound, accountable government drawn up. But, to me, the most extraordinary portion of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights.
Remember, the word constitution means the most basic principles by which a people agrees to govern itself. So, in order to know what lies at the core of America, what makes up its most revered fundamentals, look to the Bill of Rights.
It is not insignificant that the First Amendment declares that the government will not endorse any official state religion — and promises that every American can worship whom they wish, when, how and where they wish — or worship no one or nothing at all. It also promises the government will not curtail people’s freedom to say, think or believe what they want, print those beliefs and opinions, or gather in large groups.
This may not seem like that novel a concept these days, but it is.
… The First Amendment, in fact, addresses the freedoms most frequently crushed by authoritarian rulers and governments. Consider recent events in Hong Kong, with hundreds of thousands of people filling the streets because the Communist government in Beijing seems poised to steal the modicum of freedom allowed [there].
Those in Hong Kong truly understand the threat to freedom.
Americans should remember how amazing it is that our Constitution, the very way we as a people say we will go about living together as a nation, prioritizes the freedom of the individual to truly be free.
The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.
H/T: LIfezette.com/Jason Yates
Image adapted from: M C from Pixabay