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Plain and Simple for July 17, 2014 / July 17, 2014
Sometimes I have to seriously wonder if people realize what they are saying. They mouth platitudes and stock sayings that they have heard talking heads on TV shout over and over as if they were written by the God Himself. There can be no discussion or even minor disagreements because everyone knows these truths to be—well—true.

Let me give you an example. I hear and read over and over again that we need to get back to what the Founding Fathers intended for our country. We have wrecked the Constitution by interpreting and re-interpreting it according to the whims of the times. If only we could go back to what the original authors of the Constitution meant when they wrote it!

To that line of thinking, I say a very reverent hogwash! I respect and admire Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the boys as much as any person living. We have the best Constitution in existence. But the beauty of our Constitution is that it was not overwritten. It was written in such a way that it could be interpreted for the times. They understood that things change and the Constitution, as a living and breathing document, had to change with it.

If you take the other approach, then you must wind up in a logical quagmire. We must understand that the framers of our Constitution not only allowed slavery but they were content to count slaves as three-fifths of a person. Do we really want to go back to that kind of reasoning? Women did not have the right to vote and Indians would soon be on their way to near extinction. There was no conception of a standing army and the rights of a person were primitively understood. Do we really want to go back to the days when the police could and would take you back into a room and beat a confession out of you? I have not even begun to enumerate the modern inventions that our Forefathers simply had no conception of. Our lawmakers are even now struggling to write laws to handle the internet. Can we speak of going back to the original intent of our Founding Fathers when we can’t really deal with modern gadgets today? All of this assumes, of course, that we could even ascertain the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

The Constitution is much like the bible in that regard. If it is to truly speak to today, we must make it come alive for today. While respecting what it meant in its original incantation, we must allow it to breathe new life in today’s new times. The Holy Spirit allows us to do that for the bible while, hopefully, some holy good common sense allows us to do it for the constitution.

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