December 12, 2017
Happy Birthday, Bill of Rights . . . and an opportunity for you to learn more!
Well, it’s not actually until December 15th!
Our wise Founding Fathers understood the nature of man better than our modern “leaders” do. They understood the fallen nature of man and the desire for power. When the states ratified the Constitution, they expressed a desire to have a Bill of Rights in order to protect the unalienable rights of citizens from a large, power-hungry national government. One description would be to place handcuffs upon the government.
Twelve amendments were sent to the states for approval in August of 1789. Of those 12, 10 were quickly ratified. Virginia’s legislature became the last to ratify the amendments on December 15, 1791. This was only fitting as the Virginia Declaration of Rights had greatly influenced James Madison as he worked on writing the Bill of Rights.
Are our rights secure today or are we losing the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights? Reading through the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights) will show us just how much the Founding Fathers wanted to protect the rights of citizens.
The idea of protecting the rights of United States citizens from an overreaching government was very important to the Founding Fathers. Do you know your rights? On this upcoming Bill of Rights Day, take time to read them to better understand our dire situation in modern day America.
Additionally, you have another opportunity to learn about the Bill of Rights by attending a banquet commemorating them on Friday, December 15th. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Yoder’s Restaurant, 14 South Tower Road, New Holland. Cost is $28.00 for adults, children 3 to 10 are $18.00 and children 2 and under are free. If interested contact Carris Kocher, co-chair of the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Committee, at 610-476-3482 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is noon Wednesday, December 13th.
Listen to my interview with Carris.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
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.