BILL OF RIGHTS DAY - December 15th, 2008

By Rick Jones and Larry Moore

As the old saying goes, “if you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any”.

In today’s society of hustle and bustle one really doesn’t take the time to really think about what their rights are. We take these rights for granted. Just about everyone knows what the First Amendment to the Constitution is, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and freedom to petition the government, the Second is the right to bear arms and the Fifth Amendment is the right to trial by jury, double jeopardy, self-incrimination and due process of the law.

There is a bumper sticker that says, "If you can read this, thank a teacher". Well, if you didn't know the date of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, blame the National Education Association (NEA).

Just how many amendments are there to the Constitution? When was the original Bill of Rights ratified? How many are there? I’m sure there are some that already know that the original Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15th, 1791 and that there were 12 original Amendments in it, but only 10 of those were ratified by the states by 1791. Our Founding Fathers put great thought and planning in these original 10 Amendments and since its inception in 1791 to today there has only been 17 more added for a grand total of 27 amendments to our Constitution. These basic rights include everything from the freedom of religion to women’s right to vote to search and seizure.

The foresight of our Founding Fathers and the adoption of the Bill of Rights laid the foundation that made our victories in the legislature and courts this year possible.

On this honorable day take a few minutes to read our Bill of Rights and think how great our founding fathers were to be able to see far into the future of this Great Nation. Without this Bill of Rights we would be still living the same way as our founding fathers did before they came to this land.

Every newspaper in our state ought to be recognizing Bill of Rights Day. One can only determine that the Freedom of Speech must also include the Freedom to Not Speak.

To read our Bill of Rights go here.

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