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.

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