|To the Editor: Most valued principle: 'All men are created equal'|
|Written by Debbie Dalke|
|Wednesday, 25 November 2009 08:41|
In a letter published on Nov. 18, a woman complained about taxes, unemployment, and loss of freedoms. To combat these problems, she urged us to "Read the Constitution and learn how this document is being trampled on daily." I followed her suggestion, read the Constitution cover-to-cover, and would like to report what I found.
Article 1, Section 8, and Amendment 16, give Congress the power to collect taxes. I realize that our money is not always wisely spent, but a good public education gave me my career. I want my taxes to be spent on education because this elevates our standard of living.
Article 1, Section 9, gives prisoners the right to challenge their detention (habeas corpus). Advocates of the Constitution should be appalled that some prisoners-enemy combatants-were denied this right. We should be thankful that this trampling of the constitution was partially rectified by the Supreme Court.
Amendment 6 states that prisoners have the "right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State (where the crime was committed)." It is appropriate that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the assumed mastermind of the 9-11 attack, be tried in New York where the crime occurred. While imprisoned, Mohammed's captors poured water on his face until he nearly drowned. This allegedly happened more than 100 times. Cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited by the 8th Amendment of the Constitution.
In order to insure a "well-regulated Militia", the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms. The inclusion of the term well-regulated suggests that gun ownership should be monitored. Thus, licenses and background checks seem consistent with the Constitution.
Article 6 states: "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust..." Did you oppose Obama because you thought he was a Muslim? If so, then perhaps you are trampling the Constitution.
In her letter, the woman quoted from the Declaration of Independence but stopped short of a most valued principle: "all men are created equal with certain unalienable Rights (including) the pursuit of Happiness." For some men, happiness is achieved by choosing another man as a permanent partner. Denying this pursuit would be unconstitutional.
I want to thank the woman for asking me to read the Constitution. I join her in urging everyone to uphold the principles therein.
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