Howard Blitz

More About: Constitution

Rights are not granted by the Constitution

"Done...the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven."  Thus, the United States Constitution was finalized and sent to the state conventions for approval.  It would take until the following June, when New Hampshire approved it, before the Constitution would become effective. 
Many individuals think that human beings get their rights from the Constitution.  Many think that individuals have freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms because the Constitution says they do.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 
Throughout history it was the common belief that individuals were subjects of the ruler.  Only the ruler had any rights.  When the ruler spoke, whatever was said was done.  The Declaration of Independence, the philosophical base of the Constitution, turned that everyday notion on its head. 
The founders stated that rights did not come from the ruler or any document at all, not even the Magna Charta.  They said that rights were inherent in the individual and came from the Creator.  Individuals, through the Creator, are allowed to do anything they so choose so long as they do not interfere with another’s right to do the same. 
The Constitution called into existence a government that was authorized to make sure that individuals did not force others to accept their beliefs and that murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, and cheats would be arrested, prosecuted, and punished for such anti-social behavior.  The Constitution reads as a book authorizing very specific and enumerated powers given to government officials.  Its addendum, the Bill of Rights, is actually a list of “thou shall nots” that government officials are forbidden to do. 
The Constitution does not give the right of free speech to the individual.  The Constitution restricts government officials from interfering with that right that is already inherent in the individual.  Even the individual does not have complete freedom of speech because he can only say or write his ideas with his own property or obtain permission from another to use his property.  For instance The Sun is not obligated to print any column or letter to the editor.  It has total control over what it prints.  If an individual wanted to get his ideas out to the public, he would have to first get permission from The Sun to use its paper or start his own publication. 
The same goes for any store, restaurant or business.  Everyone has the right to engage with whomever they please so long as the other individual voluntarily agrees.  When real freedom exists (i.e. no government controls upon the individual), competition exists and individuals get to choose. 
The reason for the Constitution is to make sure the force of government is only used in its proper place, very similar to forming rocks in a circle on a camping trip to make sure fire is only used in its proper setting.  As has been seen time and time again, when fire gets out of control, the devastation is disastrous.  When government gets out of control, it too becomes devastating and the disaster that takes place is horrific.  All one has to do is look at Nazi Germany, Napoleon’s France, and the Pharaohs of Egypt to see the devastating effects of out of control government.  One can also see the debilitating effects of out of control government by observing Zimbabwe, North Korea, and Iran today. 
Two hundred and twenty years ago the founders created the Constitution to corral government officials because they did not trust anyone, even democratically elected ones, with the awesome and devastating power government officials possess.  The Constitution makes it clear that government officials have very limited and enumerated powers.  For instance, congress is the only government entity that can declare war, not the president, not any judge, just a group of individuals that must debate the issue before that decision is made. 
Individuals have no constitutional rights.  They already have all the rights the Creator gave them.  Individuals acting as government officials, though, only have those rights permitted them by the Constitution. 
To learn more about the Constitution stop by The Freedom Library any Tuesday evening at 6 PM to join The Freedom Library Education and Scholarship Program.  For two hours individuals participate in a concentrated study of the United States Constitution and then write a paper applying the principles found in the Constitution to a current event.  Scholarships will be awarded to those writing the top four papers as determined by The Freedom Library scholarship committee.  Those scholarships will be awarded at The Freedom Library Constitution Seminar December 4 where Dr. Earl Taylor, President of the National Center for Constitutional Studies will discuss the applicability of the Constitution to many of today’s situations.  Go to to find out more about The Freedom Library Education and Scholarship Program. 
“Ben Franklin” will be at the Booth Machinery conference hall November 1 at 7 PM to provide an evening for the Yuma community to visit with the sage of America.
Tomorrow at 7 PM at The Freedom Library the public is invited to view the film, “Truth be Tolled,” a discussion about the proposed trans-Texas corridor, the first leg of the proposed NAFTA superhighway in the creation of the North American Union.

5 Comments in Response to

Comment by William Shaw
Entered on:

Old Man, Well done !
The only problem is, The people must be active and assure these documents are not interpeted by those who wish to deceive us. A printed document protects no one, actions do !
I hate to admit it, but dubya stated the Constitution was just a peice of paper, and he was right for once in his miserable life.
Written documents are usless unless the people stand up and defend it ! So why havent We ?

Comment by Jan Paul Burr
Entered on:
Why do those who talk about the Constitution almost always leave the impression it is the only Constitution and ignore the state constitutions. Until 1925, the U.S. Constitution only stopped the Federal government from interfering with speech, religion, etc.

Until 1877, the State of N.H.**Q**s Constitution blocked Catholics or any non-protestant from holding high office in the state. Until 1818, the Danbury Baptists that Jefferson wrote to with his statement of **QQ**separation,**QQ** still had to pay taxes to support religion in the state.

In the early 1900**Q**s during war, two arrests and convictions of socialists protesting the draft were upheld by the Supreme Court. One for a speech and one for a pamphlet and at the same time, allowed similar actions during peace-time so even at the federal level, there were restrictions even on political speech.

The majority wrote and approved the constitutions of the states (all of which, by the way, have God in them) and ratified the U.S. Constitution and still, to this date, only the majority (a super majority of states) can amend the Constitution of the U.S. and a majority can amend the Constitution of states.

He is right that our **QQ**rights**QQ** came from the creator. However, what is missing is that in any society, including this one, the people agree to surrender some rights in order to have a more orderly society. What rights are surrendered or rather what rights are protected are found in the State Constitutions for all things left to the states. The U.S. Gov. was not to meddle in moral and social policy in the states. Neither for nor against. Some of the Bill of Rights which began to be incorporated after 1925 and applied to the states still aren**Q**t applied to this date. Never, not once, have all the Bill of Rights ever been applied to the states fully. But, the State Constitutions are always applied to the citizens if they have a responsible state government and state Supreme Court.

The U.S. Constitution is vital to our Republic but we are a Republic and not a democracy nationally. Thus, each state still needs a state constitution that protects the rights the people have deemed worthy of protection. While that may differ from state to state (gambling, prostitution, alcohol, age of consent, etc.) it still relies on the State**Q**s Constitution to decide whether the restrictions are constitutional or not.

Comment by William Shaw
Entered on:

Many people have been and still are ignorant of documents which they should read in detail and thourly understand before accepting as beneficial to themselves and others.
Proof is in this one document and others we believe we are sighning which will do no harm but give us security.
NO document is capable of protecting, only those who enforce it, You and Me !

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

Happy CONstitution Day everybody!

Comment by Dennis Wilson
Entered on:
Any serious study of the Constitution (i.e. any study not conducted within a government controlled school) should include what Lysander Spooner wrote about **QQ**The Constitution of No Authority**QQ**.

His following comment is even more appropriate today than it was in 1870 when he wrote it:

**QQ**But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.**QQ**

Why would he say such a thing? Read his unerring logic at

Follow up that reading with the book **QQ**Hologram of Liberty**QQ** by Kenneth W. Royce (aka Boston T Party)

And for those who might want to further their study of the Constitution, including the ability to leave comments and to suggest changes, I recommend Judge Narragansett**Q**s New Constitution Project found at

Yours in Liberty,
Dennis Lee Wilson

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