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A Bill of Rights or a Bill of Goods?

by Lisa Fabrizio

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If 'Thou shalt not covet' and 'Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free. - John Adams - A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787

Were Mr. Adams to attempt a defense of the U.S. Constitution as its principles are applied today, he would no doubt declare that anarchy and tyranny have indeed commenced. Though the sublime document itself still remains revered and untouched in the National Archives Building, its most sacred tenets lie broken and shattered at the feet of the very justices created to adjudicate them.

At the time of its writing, many of the Founding Fathers opposed the Bill Of Rights being included in the Constitution because the enumeration of certain rights--which are restrictions on the federal government--might tempt the government to trample on those not spelled out.

The compromise drafted to satisfy the opposition became the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. The Tenth states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This meant that whatever was not in the Constitution or amended into it, was in the power of the states to decide. And while this amending was done as required some seventeen times after the Bill Of Rights was ratified, today, changes have simply been declared by the courts, often resulting in the trampling the founders so feared.

Liberal courts aided by their legislative and media counterparts are perverting the Bill of Rights one by one. With the exception of quartering federal troops in private homes, almost all of the first ten amendments have been twisted and deformed, sometimes with the help of ‘moderate’ Republicans.

Freedom of speech? The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill passed by congressmen determined to keep their seats and foolishly signed by President Bush who felt it would not pass Supreme Court muster, has limited the most cherished form of speech; political.

The right to keep and bear arms? Somewhat abridged though still intact and the most fearsome part of the agenda yet to be finally addressed by the left. Americans’ innate love of firearms for sport and self-defense and the desire of government to limit or eliminate ownership of same has given rise to the powerful NRA lobby. The NRA has so far curtailed legislative gun-grabbing but even they would have a hard time reigning in runaway courts.

Protection of private property? The recent Kelo v New London decision giving governments the right to take private property for non-public use makes a mockery of the Fifth Amendment. Of course EPA regulations began the assault long ago and the advent of no-smoking type laws only further restrict what owners can and cannot do with their own property. Kelo now takes these laws to the next logical step: if your property doesn’t serve the public ‘good’ we’ll see to it that it will.

Some are confused that the liberals on the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the further enrichment of mega-rich corporations at the expense of the middle-class. And though that will be the media slant, it’s really about pouring more cash down the giant maw of ever-burgeoning big government via property taxes. And Kelo will go a long way toward getting rid of those tiresome churches who pay no property tax at all and offend the two percent of Americans who are the atheists so loved by the courts.

Freedom of religion? The biggest battle so far. Despite surveys which show that over eighty percent of Americans have a religious affiliation, some leftists will settle for nothing less than total secularism throughout the land. This attempted tyranny of the minority was strengthened by this week’s duplicitous Ten Commandments decisions by the Supreme Court which seem to suggest that public religious displays will be sanctioned only at their pleasure.

In greatly misinterpreting the uncomplicated words of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the courts are ignoring these simple truths: our federal government forces religion on no one and the right to be spared offense resides nowhere in the U.S. Constitution. John Adams’s colleague Thomas Jefferson, in his Notes on Virginia put it this way:

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