Amen. Too bad more people didn't understand this during the last too years of
shameful, extremist acrimony.
We can never give the constitution a rest. And what these advocates are
proposing is that it be a job requirement by all elected officials to at least
read the constitution for which there were elected to uphold. I don't see
anything wrong with that.Most lawyers and judges don't even know
what it says so how can a legal system work if no one knows the rules?
This article is laughable. Do you think those of us "extremists" who wave the
Constitution have problems with its amendments that have been ratified by a
super majority of the states and congress? That we want to go back to a time
when suffrage was limited by race or gender? Of course not. What
we have a problem with is the selective incorporation if the bill of rights into
the 14th amendment and the expansion of the commerce clause by activist courts.
This has gutted the rights of states and expanded the scope and power of the
federal government to the detriment of the country. If you think
education or health care should be the responsibility of the federal government,
use the legislative process to amend the Constitution like was done when women
were given the right to vote. Until that is done, unless the law as it was
written and intended is upheld, we may have a constitution, but we don't have a
constitutional government and that should scare the heck out of everyone.
I completely agree. The fervor over the Constitution has gotten out of control
and irrational. In my view the Constitution was divinely inspired and enabled
this country to come together. It is not scripture and is far from perfect. It
is an evolving document and was designed to be that way. Benson writes a lot of
common sense, and it's good to see a Republican talking the right wing
extremists down from their ledge. I still argue that moderation and pragmatism
is the best way to go, and I really think Utahns are that way when you get down
I agree that the we should never ignore the Constitution, and I also agree that
pre-Renquist the Supreme Court over-interpreted the Commerce Clause. However, I
think that Mr. Benson is right that some of the people invoking the Constitution
do so as if it were a talisman that only they know about. If Mike Lee's family
really debated the Commerce Clause over dinner, then why did he (at times) act
like there was only one true interpretation of it? Lee Benson's point is that
even the founders were vague in their understanding of some provisions, so to
invoke it like a talisman that magically settles every issue is wrong. That is
what the ACLU does in the courts and what the Tea Party is trying to do at the
I might ad that some who claim to love the Constitution and carry it in their
pockets know little about it. A great example is Utah's "Patrick Henry Caucus"
whose website says they unite to “sustain the Constitution”. Don't
they know that Patrick Henry refused to go to Philadelphia because he "smelt a
rat" and then voted against it during ratification?. I think Ron Paul would
prefer to go back to the Articles of Confederation, but he knows that saying so
will garner about as much support as his attacks against Ronald Reagan, Abraham
Lincoln and what he and Pat Buchanan view as "unnecessary" wars (Civil War and
WWII, respectively). So when Lee Benson refers to those who are
against the Constitution (but pretend to be for it) I would agree that they are
extremists. Not long ago, Gordon B. Hinckley attested to the
continued relevance of the Constitution. While I am troubled by some actions of
the Supreme Court (particularly those of a generation ago), the document is
still strong. The Rehnquist and Roberts courts appear to have been moving in
the right direction on some issues.
I believe the constitution is what makes our country exceptional in all the
world. It certainly has provisions when change is warranted. Perhaps we can take
a break now from all the discussion but come time to vote again I hope we
continue to study it's magnificence and vote by it precepts. I love this
I think that's what got us into this mess, when we stopped talking about what
the constitution allows politicians to do.We need to go back to the
founding principles that once made this a great nation, and it can make us great
again if we go back to it.Lee Benson needs to learn to accept
diverse points of view. Not everyone is happy about talking about more bailouts
or printing more fiat money. Some of us care about the future of this nation,
unlike the current administration that hates this country and the people in it.
Really Lee? Restoring Constitutional PRINCIPLES is "extremist"? The solution
to our woes is to set the Constitution and its PRINCIPLES aside? This op-ed is so wrong on so many levels. Were there compromises in creating
the Constitution? Yes. Is the Constitution perfect? No. But the
point we Constitutional “extremists” are trying to communicate is
that we rightly fear the unprecedented growth in the size and power of the
federal government. The Constitution has been trampled on by progressive
politicians for the last 100 plus years to where it is no more than words on a
piece of paper that is routinely IGNORED. The limits placed on the Federal
government were put in place to protect Americans from tyranny and to foster
prosperity and happiness — mine and yours.In the words of a
much more famous Benson (Ezra Taft Benson), “Before we can intelligently
sustain the principles of this divinely inspired document, we need to understand
it and the philosophy that underlies it. We will then be in a position to
determine encroachments on our liberty when well-intentioned, but unenlightened
politicians attempt to circumvent those principles.”Sorry Lee,
but we shouldn't set aside the Constitution.
To SonOfLiberty | 8:57 a.m. Nov. 5, 2010 Unfortunately, the far
right is trying to set aside the Constitution. They claim to understand it but,
at best, have a superficial understanding of it. They are willing to support
only the parts of it with which they agree, and do their best to ignore or
minimize the remainder. A lot, if not most, of the far right have at best a
superficial, shallow understanding of the Constitution and do not understand the
breadth and depth of it, nor do they really understand how it was written, what
it means, and what it stands for. Its Bill of Rights and other amendments are
intended to protect against the tyranny of the majority and, unfortu8nately,
that is exactly what the far right want to impose.Certainly don't
set aside the Constitution -- we badly need its protections. DO set aside the
attempts by the far so-called "constitutionalists" from the far right to
No lee. More time should be spent learning what the constitution is and says.
I should be understood by every fifth grader. Let alone every adult.
Lee is, like most people, tired of extremist know-nothings shouting about its
"PRINCIPLES" to further their agendas rather than actually studying it &
governing by it.
Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Privileges and Immunities, Equal
Protection, Due Process, evolving standards of decency, rationale reasoning,
strict scrutiny, suspect class, affirmative rights...these ideas are easy to
understand? I guess it depends whether you are an ardent originalist or let the
Constitution float around according to our society's barometer. This article
really bothers me. This is indeed our nation's perception of the Constitution.
I would suggest you become more familiar with the document before making broad
sweeping generalizations. Please, explain all these concepts to me.
I loved the "how far back" should we go reasoning, the observation
that Glen Beck and others (way too many others) use the Constitution to inflate
themselves,the too infrequently pointed out fact that some segments
of our society think they have the lock on supporting or revering the
Constitution and that anyone who disagrees with ANY portion of their opinion or
world view can't possibly be any good,and the observation that it is
a wise, good wonderful document, and yes maybe even inspired document, but not
the end all.Wish those who were so sure it is a divine document gave
real divine documents as much credence and attention.
We the people fortunately have been awakened to the truth of what is happening
in America! Getting back to the basics, following the rule of law and respecting
and following Constitutional principals is what the anger is all about. Because
government has forgotten its place in our lives due to power hungry elected
officials who have lost sight of their job descriptions for other issues that
belong to the States, the people have spoken and desire now to return the power
to "We the People" and if it takes a continued effort on Glen Beck's willingness
to educate the people, then I support his efforts! We need to educate our youth
to accepting responsibility for keeping America FREE, and protected from
Socialism and Communism....we have been asleep at the wheel in spite of the
warnings sounded in the 60's by Ezra T. Benson!!!
'For years, the Constitution did not give black people the right to vote.
For even longer years, more than a century actually, it did not give women the
right to vote; and for longer years yet, Native Americans. Do the tea
partiers want us to get back to that Constitution?' - Article Good
point. 'I want my country back.' Back before interacial
marriage? Back before womens vote? Back before.....
In Mormon Scripture, the constitution of the United States has the seal of
approval from God. Read D&C 101:80 This is the only government document in the
entire world, that we know of, that has God's blessing. Are you seriously
asking to "give the constitution a rest" Mr. Benson??? OK let's dabble in
marxism and communism (2008 - on), do you feel better now???
I tried to say just a simple "Amen", but that was rejected, so I'm agreeing
This article might be worth agreeing with if the current government didn't
ignore the Constitution completely.
Think of the constitution as blueprints for a building. As you go you may need
to add a wall here or knock out a window there, but in the end you have a
beautiful building.Then an evil real estate developer comes along,
and - ah, I'll save that for another day.I just wonder how many
people who are screaming for or against the constitution have actually read it.
If you havent, read it! Now it's more important then ever to understand our
constitution, and how the government is slowly inching it closer and closer to
the shred bin.
It's such a shame that comments like this were allowed to be published using the
nebulous platitudes and vague smear references against those who have done more
to protect the federal constitution in it's entirety than a single person here
making comments.How would the church president feel about this once
he finds out a church owned newspaper actually put into print such a flagrantly
ignorant, "opinion" piece in the attempt to quell the inevitable public dissent
of a constant, systematic subversion and chronic scofflaw actions of an out of
control congress and unauthorized activist Supreme Court Judiciary which more
often than not operate out of their scope of authority?
Agree 100%.I don't think anyone's arguing we ought to set aside the
Constitution.But let's open our eyes and realize that some
candidates in this state ran a political campaign for a major national office on
almost nothing more than the claim of being constitutional experts. What's your
platform, sir? Why, to return to the Constitution! Since when is claimed
constitutional expertise the primary requirement of a national legislator?You think the federal government's too big? Fine, the work to reduce
it's size. Think national health is a bad idea? OK, then work to have it
repealed. Think we need entitlement reform? Great, the work to make our future
fiscal commitments more realistic.But let's stop playing this little
game of pretending that the Constitution irrevocably established the one true
public policy direction for the USA back in 1787. The Constitution creates a
government, not a party platform. It allows for flexibility in governing and
provides for changing views. So argue the merits of your
legislative positions, don't try to claim immunity from scrutiny by hiding them
behind the Founding Fathers.
The author of this "opinion piece" ought to be ashamed for publishing something
so vague and intended to marginalize those who have done more to protect and
defend the supreme law of the land than most making comments here on this board,
along with the moderators of this board for removing my last comment which were
nothing but sincere facts.When you have an overwhelming membership
in each branch of government ignoring their oaths and the legally binding
contract which binds them to certain specific duties, nothing more, and nothing
less you must once again become vigilant and discuss our founding document.The Constitution. Still the Cutting Edge!
This article is shameful because those who are complaining about the
Constitution are those who feel that it is being ignored. If you want something
different, at least admit that the Constitution of 1787, as amended, is no
longer the law of the land. Until that is the case, we need to study this
document and understand why it was written in the first place.Principles outlined by the founders of this American Republic are things I
feel are needed, including the right to peaceably assemble and speak my mind.
If you don't "get" what those who attend the Tea Party Rallies are complaining
about, come out to one and find out for yourself. Of course showing up is going
to get you labeled as a terrorist, so if you want the status quo of ignoring the
constitution don't come and stay in your warm fuzzy cocoon thinking all is well
when the Republic is under assault by people who write just like you do.The Constitution isn't scripture and it can be changed... by amendments
properly debated in the 50 state legislatures of this country, not by judges who
choose to ignore it.
I am sorry, but the reason many peolle are waving teh US Consititution around
nowadays is out of fear that it is being abandoned by the people who now control
our courts, administrative offices and legislatures. One wonders what would
happen if every American turned off "American Idol" or the "Disney" and took the
time to read and ponder what the founding documents of this nation really say,
or what the founders of this nation really wanted.
Lee Benson has written ANOTHER great article.Thanks!And to the
rest of you self proclaimed Constitution Lovers....How many of you
raised your right arm to the square, left hand on holy writ, and sworn the oath
to God and Country to defend it with your very life if necessary?Name for me ONE Freedom lost.Which one was it?Religion?Speech?Press?Right to keep and bare arms??Because if
that's what's happening -- I'm with you!But my gut tells me you
haven't a CLUE what freedom really is.T.V. personalities are
using the Consitution as a prop to sell books and gold for profit.They are no different than T.V. Evangelicals using Jesus as a prop to sell
books and gold for profit.Do yourselves a favor and turn off
the TV, and go to a military cemetary or attend a solider's funeral if you want
to see the real price of Freedom.Meanwhile, thank God we live in a
country were Lee Benson can still write and post his artilces without going to
jail.That's called freedom.
Lee Beson shoudl ashamed of lack knowledge of constion, along the
many LEFTEST commentors, who know VERY LITTLE to NOTHING of
what is actually IN the constitution, of what it actually says,NOTHING in constituion denies voting rights to black women of
anyone,NOTHING in constituion denies interaciual marriage,most thing were elft up to statsm and tradition and culture of
the time,many admendments just implicitly define a right, and make
it federal law, rights that wer a;lready left to states and the
people in the 10TH amdmendmenttoo few people really knw what in the
constitutionthat is why we need to read it, talk about it and learn
more aboue about, educate it other about it, and we all need a more universal
understanding of what is actually in it.YOu do not know what
the proper ROILE of federal government and waht are primary governing laws of
our country, nor what ourour srate and and indivual rights actually are, then they WILL be taken away from you, from your state, and the
federal will metamorphosize into something terrible.to mock
the importance the constitution and those who love it,is
dishonorable and ignorant.
The Constitution isn't just some idea... IT'S THE LAW that is supposed to
confine the actions of the Federal government. I'd be happy to blow it off,
just as soon as the agents of government assume the same attitude about the
"laws" that I am supposed to stay within.
And while we're at it, let's quit talking so much about the Book of Mormon.
Not! We must be vigilant. The Constitution should be before us always. I
would not ask someone to quit talking about the Constitution, as you have done.
I would hope that you would welcome the fervor of people interested in keeping
Just out of curiosity, how many of you actually read past the headline of this
column? If you did, you really didn't get what Lee was saying. He never said we
should put the Constitution aside or that we should ignore its laws, etc. Where
are you getting this from? Glen Beck? I agree with Lee
wholeheartedly that too many people wave the Constitution around as if they
alone know not only what it says, but also what it means. Believe it or not,
there is disagreement even among experts about that. And who made you an
expert?The article was meant tongue-in-cheek, at least partially.
Try to get a sense of humor. I found much of it hilarious, as well as true.
The constitution is being abused as we watch the decisions of an activist
conservative court. "Citizens United" is the most obvious example.
These folks put the Warren Court to shame. They rule that Corporations are
citizens, and political contributions are speach. Ridiculous on the face of it.
Make no mistake, if this foolishness is allowed to continue, we end up with the
best government that money can buy, and our cherished constitution hanging, as
it were, by a thread.
This is such a ridiculous contradiction. You want people to
"lay off talking about the Constituion" but you want the coercive
impositoins of a government supposedly based on that document's validity to
continue? Personally, I'm tired of hearing about the
constitution too but as long as you want the government it supposedly created to
continue operating, you must acknowledge the validity and limits of that very
same document. I don't really care about that piece of paper.
It doesn't change the morality of any specific action by or upon an
individual. I care about what is the morally proper role of government, and
since government does everything via force or a threat thereof it should only do
that which an individual would be justified in doing to another individual using
force... whether it's "constitutional" or not.
America's wise founders, inspired by their excellent understanding of
timeless political principles, created our nation's federal Constitution to
help us to preserve our rightful liberty indefinitely as effectively as
possible. I marvel that, despite its flaws, it has succeeded so well. It
remains the supreme law of our land that our federal officeholders swear to
uphold, and not a quaint-but-antiquated piece of advice that they may ignore as
much as they can get away with.Sadly, under the long-term influence
of modern political collectivists, our federal government has increasingly
ignored this charter to degenerate into a bloated corrupt warfare-welfare state
that engages in large-scale "legalized" murder and plunder---and that
now teeters upon the brink of fascistic/socialistic despotism. I'm glad
that some Americans notice this awful situation, and desire to restore our
once-free Constitutional republic before its remnants, like Rome's, are
discarded forever by would-be Caesars.We need to remind ourselves of
our founders' wisdom, or else we may have to relearn it from our own sad
experience. So, let's please keep not only talking about the U.S.
Constitution but laboring effectively to reinstate it.
Also, as for Latter-day Saints like myself, devotion to the U.S. Constitution,
plus its libertarian principles, is not only wise, but part of our religion.In LDS scripture, God Himself proclaims that He "established"
this Constitution "by the hands of wise men whom [He] raised up unto this
very purpose," that He desires us to "befriend" Constitutional law,
that "whatsoever is more or less than [it] cometh of evil," and that He
wills that it "should be maintained for the rights and protection of all
flesh."LDS General Authorities have reiterated such doctrines
ever since, with remarkable (although imperfect) consistency. John Taylor
taught that, "Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission,
namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the maintenance of
liberty, freedom and the rights of man." David O. McKay taught that,
"Next to being one in worshipping God, there is nothing in this world upon
which the Church should be more united that in upholding and defending the
Constitution of the United States." And Ezra Taft Benson prophetically
urged us in 1987 to repent of our general "apostasy" from divine
Constitutional principles. We should humbly heed such inspired counsel.