Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's time for an American Reformation

I read recently (sorry I can't remember where) that more people are reading The Constitution, the whole thing, in unprecedented numbers than ever before.  The article attributed it to both the Tea Party and the Obamacare.  It seems people are are reading the commerce and necessary and proper clauses to discover for themselves if the founder's idea of limited government could really be stretched into what 235-years' removal has created from it.

And they're discovering stretch marks.

It reminded me of my first foray into Protestant religions, and the ministers' encouragement to their congregations to read the bible for themselves so they couldn't be tricked into thinking the bible says something it doesn't.

The Reformation hasn't died.

Protestants believed Christians didn't need a church to tell them what the bible says.  They didn't need a hierarchy interpreting sacred scriptures for them, or trying to sell them indulgences for their sins that were little more than fund-raisers for "the church."

Certainly, the Roman Catholic Church did a lot of good with that money, but all that money also corrupted parts of the church because in the end the church is operated by humans, and humans are imperfect.

There are a lot of parallels to our government and its sacred document, The Constitution.

More of us need to read The Constitution.  More of us need to read the Bill of Rights and ponder the power and meaning of those words, and consider their inspiration.

When I read sections of The Constitution my faith in the document increases, my faith in the founders increases, but my faith in the institutions and representatives responsible for protecting and guarding the nation is troubled.

When it comes to what our government should and should not be doing, or what our elected representatives should or should not be doing, and I think our nation is ready, perhaps over-due, for a constitutional reformation.

The entire document is only 4609 words, including signatures.  The Bill of Rights is only 714 words.  Together they're only 5323 words.  Both can be read in a couple hours.

If congress would only limit itself to legislation no longer than 5323 words, I suspect it might be a more limited government, have fewer earmarks, less pork, and be more deserving of sharing space in the archives next to the greatest constitution ever written for the greatest nation ever imagined, and ever born.

So try-on a little reformist thinking, cut-out the middle men, read it for yourself.  Find someone to discuss it with, then consider if we've made of it what we should.  We are all children of The Revolution, and shouldn't squander or take for granted our inheritance.

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