Not divine script - The Richfield Reaper: Letters To The Editor

Not divine script

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 2:43 pm

The Constitution is not the Bible. The Constitution represents the handiwork of men. The Bible is believed to be knowledge revealed by God. The Constitution is rich in 18th century philosophical assumptions. The Bible has been tempered by the ages.

The Constitution launched a bold experiment in self-government. When the rest of the world was ruled by kings and dictators, the American revolutionaries chose to establish a republic. The success of such an experiment was far from certain.

The Founding Fathers viewed the document they had written as a pragmatic experiment in self-government. When Franklin was leaving constitutional hall, someone in the crowd outside the building called out to him, asking — What kind of government did you give us? Franklin replied — A republic if you can keep it.

The Founding Fathers’ pragmatic attitude is reflected in the provisions they made for amending the Constitution, two-thirds vote of both houses and ratification by three-fourths of the states. If they had believed they were writing divine script, they would not have left open the possibility for future changes.

When it was written, the Constitution represented the most progressive political thinking of its day. The Founding Fathers recognized that the pragmatic spirit of their work was more important in the long run than any particular words they may have penned. It is ironic that some would ignore the experimental spirit lying behind the Constitution, and instead focus their attention upon trying to chisel its words into stone.

The Constitution is a living, ongoing experi-ment in self-government. Each generation has the opportunity to modify the document to best address the problems of its time. We should not shy away from modifying the experiment. If the Founding Fathers were here today, they would settle for nothing less. The thing we should all reject is rigid and unproductive thinking.

Stan Ivie

Richfield

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  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

11 comments:

  • Lakota posted at 3:59 pm on Tue, Oct 23, 2012.

    Lakota Posts: 233

    Well Chapster. I don't see any "arguments" coming from you. If you were to present arguments, I would either agree or refute as best as I can, and at least make the attempt to do it in an honest manner. What I do see is passive aggressively couched "insults"...that is...unless your suggestion to me that you were "merely trying to help me find some happiness" was an honest and hearfelt declaration. Was it Chapster? Was that a realistically HONEST statement...or...was it a sarcastic comment?

    Here's a scenario that may (or may not) illustrate a bit just how silly your constant harping is that those who don't accept your version of a perfect America should leave......
    A citizen of Mexico complains that his govt is prone to bribery by big business interests and is too subservient to the U.S. Would you tend to suggest that he leave his country for somwhere else (possibly the U.S.)...or...would you tend to suggest that he do the best he can with his life in Mexico, and seek to change his govt as best he can?

    Of course, we all know that the govt of Mexico is far from perfect, so it stands to reason that an honest citizen could find some serious fault. It's reasonable to consider that the entire system could be faulted by an honest citizen, because, after all, their Constitution was just a creation of men who had different ideas and thoughts, some of which were more viable than others. And many current leaders have shown themselves to be less than honest in many ways.

    Is the U.S. any different than that? Maybe in degrees it is...but is it really any different in terms of the concept that imperfections integrally exist in both? IOW...both created by men who leaned towards many varying thoughts and ideas, and a conglomeration of them all was eventually enacted. Many current leaders shown to be less than honest.

    Bottom line, I believe that the entire concept that the Constitution should be held put as some sort of god provided document is faulty...and dangerous. Why? Because that sort of mindset leads to wrong headed thinking..i.e. the idea that those who might disagree with or find less than perfect a tenet of the constitution are "evil", rather than merely holding an honest opinion...or...reluctance to modify the constitution in order to meet challenges that could have never been imagined by the originators. It's beyond me to understand those who take the position that the founders were dead set against ever modifying the document. They just seem to ignore the obvious fact that the originators provided the means whereby modifications could be implements by amendment...or by the voice of the people for that matter thru an intiative or proposition.

     
  • Chapster posted at 7:22 pm on Thu, Oct 18, 2012.

    Chapster Posts: 348

    Your admiration of my arguments is touching. Thanks for the complements.

     
  • Lakota posted at 12:15 pm on Tue, Oct 16, 2012.

    Lakota Posts: 233

    Chapster,

    More non sequiturs from you. Man, do you have any ability at all to communicate honestly?

    I presented facts regarding a study that was done which indicates the countries in the world where people are the most happy and satisfied with their lives...many of which rate higher than the U.S. You then...in your passive/aggressive and snide manner...suggest that I leave the U.S. Then you continue with your cheap snideness, and suggest that you're merely trying to "help" me.

    You refuse to communicate honestly and you are evidently incapable of arguing your points with factually based, or even honest, commentary. So you resort to cheap psuedo clever avoidance tactics. Do you not have the courage to just be straightforward and communcate honestly?

    So, it appears Chapster, that what you're really saying, is...rather than finding the results interesting and worthy of consideration and possibly contemplation...that you're afraid to even consider the possibility that this study could carry any credence. And you steadfastly refuse to analyze the situation. Constideration that this study could be telling us something about people and the world, and about how the conditions of various govt's of the world are integrated in a persons life and the effect that they have seems to be beyond your mental and emotional capability. This is all very interesting to me. Not just the study and what it's telling us...but almost moreso...the telling effect that it seems to have on you.

     
  • Chapster posted at 2:34 pm on Mon, Oct 15, 2012.

    Chapster Posts: 348

    Your eager attempt to ascribe my responses to "insults" is laughable. I merely suggested that you go where you would be more happy. You don't like it here, that seems rather obvious. Why not try a place you esteem more highly? That's a simple suggestion, devoid of any intended offense. I'm merely trying to help you find some happiness.

     
  • Lakota posted at 4:59 pm on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Lakota Posts: 233

    Chapster,

    Made your point? What point? I only present the facts as they exist. The survey results are what they are. If the average person in those countries is happier with his life than the average person in the U.S....then that's just what it is.

    For you to use that fact to attempt justification of your passive/aggressive efforts to insult and demean others is a rather sad commentary on you...and reflects nothing on those whom you intend to insult. It really does appear that you have an urge to "purify" society thru purging of all who don't fit your preconcieved notion of the "right kind" of person. That's not the sort of attitude that befits a principled American citizen is it?

     
  • Chapster posted at 12:06 pm on Fri, Oct 12, 2012.

    Chapster Posts: 348

    Well then, you just made my point. Stan/you should go to those countries. See for yourself. If it is a better deal, why not? Many from those countries came here, initially to find a better life. Maybe you should return the favor. That is precisely what I am saying.

    Of course, once you get there, you may find it slightly different than you thought. Sweden, for instance, has a tax of over 50%. Canada speaks English. You could go there and experience their great health care system for yourself. New Zealand, the same. Better climate than we have, to boot.

     
  • Lakota posted at 6:42 pm on Thu, Oct 11, 2012.

    Lakota Posts: 233

    Chapster,

    It's a fact that there are many, many examples of countries in this world that successfully operate under a form of govt that fits the definition of "social democracy"...or..."democratic socialism". If you'd like examples I can give you a long list. In fact, there was a survey done a few years ago that rated the happiness and satisfaction level of citizens in many countries of the world. The U.S. didn't make the top ten. You may want to do a little investigation of the form of govt that the countries making up the top ten operate under. I recall that Denmark, Finland, and The Netherlands were at the top of the list. New Zealand and Canada were in the top ten. Switzerland was in there as well.

    So Chapster, I'm sure your apparent rigidity of thought won't change...with the exception of possibly becoming more rigid. I find that a sad state of affairs. This world and the history of it's people and civilizations are such a fascinating and delightful...and sometimes scary...subject of study and learning. Particularly when we seek to see from the perspective of others who's lives and viewpoints are different...or even opposed...to our own. Of course...this requires a certain flexibility in thought and understanding...and is stifled by rigidity.

     
  • Chapster posted at 2:28 pm on Thu, Oct 11, 2012.

    Chapster Posts: 348

    Lakota, Hegelian Dialetics is not for me. To ME, anyone who takes such umbrage, such exception to the FORM of government here needs to go where they can see their beliefs practiced in toto. Only then, since they exhibit a strong resistance to what others say, can they ascertain for themselves if what they espouse is correct or not.

    Socialism has been done many times and many places. It has never worked. You can state that and some will deny that the sun came up in the east this morning. You can show example after example in history books and it is all lies to those people. Hence my encouragement to relocate where they can see for themselves.

    Eldredge Cleaver did this many years ago and came back kissing the ground. More should try this.

     
  • Lakota posted at 5:27 pm on Wed, Oct 10, 2012.

    Lakota Posts: 233

    Chapster,

    You erode your credibility when you stoop to ad hominem attack. Why not address Mr. Ivie's thoughts and positions on issues without attempting to throw them all into some imaginary "socialism" basket without regard? I've seen multiple instances of you advising others...including myself...to leave the U.S. and take up residence in some other country with the caveat that it will be "more to our liking". Is this an indication that you have a strong inner penchant to "perfect" your version of a perfect American citizen? Isn't this analagous to those in Germany in the 1920's who had a desire to "perfect" the supposed perfect German.citizen? Isn't this a slippery slope to start down Chapster? Where did it end in the case of Nazi Germany?

     
  • concerned posted at 9:27 pm on Thu, Oct 4, 2012.

    concerned Posts: 1002

    Tell that to the authors.
    A number of those who signed that document believed that they were divinely inspired when they wrote it. To that I agree.

     
  • Chapster posted at 2:41 pm on Wed, Oct 3, 2012.

    Chapster Posts: 348

    Stan, I understand that Venezuela has room for people like you. Cuba would take you as well. You can't come up with anything better than socialism, then maybe you should go where it is more "pure" than it is here.