Fortnight for Freedom: Day 4 – Bill of Rights

Americans are great at arguing about what they think the United States Constitution says or means.  That’s an important part of being a free people, and it’s a freedom enumerated in the Constitution itself.

The Fortnight for Freedom has as one of its purposes (as I understand it) to stand up and demand that the rights listed in the First Amendment are not only understood as they were meant to be understood, but to be respected as they were meant to be respected.

Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Most Americans are familiar with the Preamble to the United States Constitution, “We the People …”  Did you know that the Bill of Rights has a preamble as well?

It’s not as eloquent as the previous one, but it is critical in understanding the intent that Congress had in passing the Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution.


THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. […]

I added the emphasis, but think about it.  These articles were designed to limit the power of the Government expressly to prevent those in power from twisting the meaning of the freedoms guaranteed, and to give confidence to the people that the Government would be beneficent toward the people.

Many times over the past two centuries we have strayed from this intent.  I have no doubts that the Framers of the Constitution would be livid at how it has been used and abused. What would they think of those currently in power?

I saw a comment online from someone, probably the ACLU, saying that the Catholic Church was being bigoted by promoting the Fortnight for Freedom.  Really???

First, I don’t think this person really knows what the word bigotry means.  If this fight was really about contraception as the media would have you believe, perhaps.  But the educated really know this about defending the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans.

Second, all Americans, not just Catholics, not just religious believers, but all of us have a duty to defend the Constitution when it is being misconstrued, abused and non-beneficent.  Our rights will not defend themselves in the face of ignorance, apathy and despotism.

WE must know our rights, fight for them, and use the most powerful weapons we have in our arsenal:  the power of prayer and the power of the ballot box.