Celebrating The Bill Of Rights

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Editor:

219 years ago, on Dec. 15, 1791, our precious Bill of Rights was ratified.

The Constitution of the United States would never have become the law of the land without the Bill of Rights. Several states refused to join the Union unless there was a Bill of Rights added to it to limit the federal power and protect individual rights.

Why is the Bill of Rights so vital to individual human freedom? These first 10 amendments to the Constitution together guarantee fundamental civil and human rights that our Founders believed no human being or government had the right to take away from free citizens. Among them are the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, religion; protections against unreasonable searches and coerced confessions; rights to counsel and a jury trial.

For these rights and freedoms people have struggled for centuries. The Bill of Rights remains a beacon to freedom-loving people worldwide.

The Bill of Rights also defines the limits of government power; more directly than any other single document of law, the Bill of Rights stands between tyranny and liberty.

We have special days for the birthdays of great leaders, to remember special events, including July 4th, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and to honor our military services.

We need to celebrate Dec. 15 — Bill of Rights Day.

You can find a quiz on the Bill of Rights at: http://jpfo.org/pdf/paysonquiz.pdf and the answers at: http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/pquizanswer.htm

You can read also the Bill of Rights translated into 15 languages at: http://jpfo.org/ your10rights/bortranslate.html

A sage once warned: “If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.” The best way I can think of for us all to celebrate our Bill of Rights is to refamiliarize ourselves with it — to read the entire document through carefully, out loud to ourselves, our families and our friends, and to ask ourselves these questions:

Which of these rights am I personally willing to give up? My right to free speech and to peaceably assemble? My right to practice my religion? To have a jury trial? My right to self-defense? My right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment? My right to be free from unchecked government seizure and forfeiture of my private property? My right to remain silent when accused of criminal activity?

Imagine your life without it and you will see why the Bill of Rights is so vital to your personal liberty.

Tina Terry

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