CNHI News Service

Opinion

January 31, 2013

The Constitution still matters

Editor's Note: If you're not a weekly subscriber to Marta Mossburg's column, you can publish this one if you notify her at marta@martamossburg.com

I wonder what Saeed Abedini thinks of the discussions circling at the highest level of American politics and society to scrap the Constitution.

Abedini is the 34-year-old American pastor sentenced Jan. 27 to eight years in prison in Iran. His crime: evangelizing Christianity.

Or what about all those who face constant persecution and imprisonment in China for not belonging to officially sanctioned churches?

People say such injustice could not happen here. Without the religious protection guaranteed by the Constitution, however, why couldn’t it? Even with the Constitution in place, many of our fundamental rights have been usurped in the name of safety and tolerance. The use of drones to monitor people within the United States and campus speech codes are just two examples of how basic tenets of our founding document have been undermined.

That is why it scares me to listen to those like Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman who want to scrap the Constitution and forge a new document that more closely aligns with the popular will.

In a segment aired on CBS’ “Sunday Morning” he said, “The Constitution has many important and inspiring provisions, but we should obey these because they are important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago.”

He added, “Worse yet, talking about gun control in terms of constitutional obligation needlessly raises the temperature of political discussion. Instead of a question on policy, about which reasonable people can disagree, it becomes a test of one’s commitment to our foundational document and, so, to America itself.”

He is one of a long list of public figures who favor killing all or some of the document undergirding the republic that has inspired millions to risk their lives and fortunes to come here.

Text Only
Opinion
  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hobby Lobby critics push specious privacy pitch

    The violation of privacy argument by liberal detractors of the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby-Obamacare case doesn't hold water when you consider the current collection and use of the personal details of your medical preferences.

    July 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Declare your independence from empty slogans

    'Independence Day' is now an ironic celebration in a country where the president promotes government dependence over actual freedom, and where bumper-sticker slogans have replaced actual, independent thought.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Taxi owners, government patrons try forcing Uber to go 'off-duty'

    Uber gives urban passengers an enticing alternative. Rides on-demand arrive faster than taxis, are cheaper and cleaner, and get rated by customers. Rather than hail innovation, government enablers are helping the heavily regulated taxicab industry freeze out the upstart.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg IRS spins email yarn as Obama slips past another scandal

    Forget everything you've heard about email. All digital trace of a former IRS official's email over the 25 months the agency harassed conservative groups has mysteriously, improbably vanished. Gone, too, is the White House's accountability as President Obama slips from another scandal.

    June 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama: Don't listen to those who knew Bergdahl best

    The Obama administration chides anyone who suggests that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl - the POW traded for a dream team of Taliban terrorists - might be something less than a hero. The White House wants us to stop jumping to conclusions - unless, of course, we're jumping to the right conclusions.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Left tallies 'true cost' of coal with a political calculator

    Weighing the "true cost" of coal-based energy is politically convenient. In a "true cost" world, coal may be more expensive but alternate energies aren't affordable, either; you don't get a tax break on your mortgage; and the feds don't protect the United Auto Workers from Chrysler's bankruptcy.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Veterans wait for healthcare, we wait for accountability

    Poor care and long wait times at the Veterans Administration are little surprise for an organization with such an entrenched bureaucracy. It's almost predictable as the Obama administration's mock surprise and non-response.

    May 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Reality replaces Obama's foreign policy promises

    Terrorists were supposed to disappear and tensions would dissolve between the United States and other countries when President Barack Obama took office. But prize-winning promises don't hold up to real-life Chinese hackers, attacks on U.S. diplomats and Russian land grabs.
     

    May 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • sampollak.jpg Presidential perk turned into a bummer

    Who wants to be president of the United States if you don't get time to actually linger and soak in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

    May 23, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Features