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Letters: Is it unreasonable to want the Constitution protected?

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 17, 2013 5:01 a.m.

    "Conservatives view the Constitution as a divinely inspired document"

    Maybe those in Utah. Mostly it is the LDS belief, both conservative and liberal.
    The rest of us just believe it is a great document that has stood the test of time and is the cornerstone to this great nation.

    And, I am quite certain that if you really wanted to dig into it, you would find that "conservatives" trample the document just like the "liberals".

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    "Conservatives view the Constitution as a divinely inspired document — the principles of which have made this country the envy of the rest of the world. Liberals view this same document as outdated..."

    ================

    Fight misconception with misconception. The irony...

    It maybe better said that we simply have different interpretations of the same document. No one, except a few fringe on either side is really trying to do away with the Constitution. Recognize that and we maybe able to have an actual adult discussion.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Jan. 17, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    This letter is just another of the standard postings claiming conservatives are the guardians of our rights protected by the Constitution. That narrow view of the world is what has caused most of the division we experience in the country today. I'm always amused by those who claim to know the intentions of the Founding Fathers and then make sure their interpretation is in complete compliance with their own narrow views. The opinions and ideas of the Founding Fathers were more diverse than anything we see in today's political arena. The greatest attribute of the Founding Fathers was their recognition of their differences and then putting in place a Constitution and a legislative process that could address those differences as the country grew and developed. Neither liberals or conservatives have a lock on truth, justice and the American way. Both sides have a right to have their voices heard and then let the political process determine the direction of the country.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:16 a.m.

    It only matters when another's interpretation is different than yours. Only your interpretation is correct.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 17, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    I too am deeply concerned. I am concerned that too many of us believe our understanding of the constitution is the only understanding. That conservatives and liberals do not actually have quite a bit of common ground on the constitution and that both view it as a powerful protector of sacred rights.

    I am deeply concerned that too few of us consider that those who oppose us politically may love our country and its constitution just as well as do we.

    Is it extreme to demand that the federal government put its financial house in order? No.

    Is it extreme to require that our elected officials take seriously their oaths to uphold, and to preserve and to defend and to protect this same Constitution? No.

    But, is it extreme to assume all who do not agree with us are extreme? Yes.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    So Ben if the constitution was divinely inspiried why don't we have Sharia law..after all Allah is God.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Ben,
    Even those who crafted and ratified the Constitution didn't always agree on its interpretation, and the debate continues today. The U.S. Constitution is one of the shortest in the world, really, a framework, which leaves much to interpretation.

    What is extreme is the Republican Party playing games with the U.S. credit rating--telling the world they will not pay the bills they themselves approved. There are too many uninformed, misinformed Republicans that just don't don't have a clue. Concerned about the debt? Why do they keep voting for the continuing resolutions to keep funding it?

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Funny. Rick Scott down there in Florida thought he had it all figured out passing a bill allowing prayer in schools.

    Satanists “from all over Florida” will gather at the State Capitol on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. to applaud Scott’s backing of SB 98, according to a news release by a group called The Satanic Temple.

    Reconsidering the separation of church and state?

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    For the most part, the constitution is vaguely worded. Judges, legal scholars and others have been disagreeing about the precise meanings of different passages and amendments since its inception. Often, the separate writings of the framers are cited as evidence of the intent of the vaguely worded constitution. And often those separate writings, even amongst one individual, can be contradictory.

    So the real reason that some conservatives are labeled as extreme is in their penchant for always interpreting every passage of the constitution in the most conservative way possible and then asserting that they have absolute insight into the intent of the framers to know without doubt that their ultra conservative interpretation is in agreement with the framers original intent. It's that smug certainty and unwillingness to see any other perspective that begets the label of extreme.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    "Is it extreme to demand that the federal government put its financial house in order?

    Is it extreme to require that our elected officials take seriously their oaths to uphold, and to preserve and to defend and to protect this same Constitution?"

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.--The Divinely Inspired Constitution You love so much

    The Constitution says NOTHING about "putting our financial house in order" and nothing about Republicans holding the economy hostage threatening to default on our spending obligations.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    There are calls to replace the Constitution, throw it away and start over. They calls come from the left.

    Yes there are issues where left and right simply disagree on the interpretation of the Constitution. But when it doesn't serve their needs, the liberals are the ones that talk of replacing the Constitution.

    The Constitution is a great document and basis for government. It has governed the greatest country on earth for 226 years.

    We are slipping from the top, but it is the Constitution that pulls us back. It is our unwillingness to adhere to it, by immoral and unethical behavior, that is bringing us down.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Part of the genius of the Constitution is that it provided for both "conservative" and "liberal" interpretation. It allows citizens to have and to express differing opinions.

    To actually protect the Constitution REQUIRES both viewpoints.

    Thus, just as a conservative is acting to protect the Constitution, so is one whose thinking tends to be more liberal.

    That is exactly the way the men who wrote it intended it to be. And so, too, perhaps did God.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    "There are calls to replace the Constitution, throw it away and start over. They calls come from the left. "

    Care to back up that statement with facts? Can you show some credible liberals who are "calling to replace the constitution"?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    The question “Is it extreme to demand that the federal government put its financial house in order”, is like asking “Is it extreme to like Apple Pie”. We would like the government to operate efficiently but most of all we want the government to do it’s job.

    The disagreement that we have is in the nature of the job. Is it to enable people to rise up from their animal instincts or is it to cater to those animal instincts and block the enhancement of human beings.

    Liberals, like me, believe that the purpose of government is to govern. Or in other words control, regulate, equalize, and otherwise provide for the enhancement of human beings. It is the governing, controlling, regulating, and providing equal opportunity that secures the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Conservatives seem to want to limit, hamstring, emasculate and starve our national government so that they can follow their natural animal instincts of greed, oppression and self enhancement without hindrance or interference from others.

    The truth of today is that the Constitution as written 250 years ago needs to be updated to the realities of today.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Irony of the Day --

    "Conservatives view the Constitution as a divinely inspired document —
    Liberals view this same document as outdated and as an obstruction to their more enlightened and progressive agenda."

    ===============

    Talk about trampling the Constitution --

    Would someone PLEASE explain why then Conservatives have tried to AMMEND and CHANGE the divinely inspired Constitution by a factor of neraly 14 to 1 over Liberals?

    The "Christian" ammendment [America is a Christiona nation.]
    Anti-Miscegenation Amendment [barring inter-racial marriages]
    Flag Desecration Amendment Amendment.
    School Prayer Amendment
    Federal Marriage Amendment
    Equal Opportunity to Govern Amendment [the Arnold Swartzneggar for Presisdent sponsored by our own Orrin Hatch]
    Personhood ammendment.
    Balanced budget ammendment [again, Orrin Hatch].

    I could go on and on....

    So, tell me, did God mess it up? Is that why Conservatives need to constantly change and revise it?
    Did God go about changing the Bible everytime Conservatives didn't win at the ballot box?

    For the record --
    Democrats did proposed the "People's Rights Amendment" in 2011,
    a proposal to limit the Constitution's protections only to natural persons, and not corporations.

    I'd support that one.

    Get over yourselves.
    Conservatives are the WORST at keeping, protecting and Defending the Constitution - AS IS.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    "There are calls to replace the Constitution, throw it away and start over. They calls come from the left."

    Where? An accusation like that requires substantiation.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    "Conservatives view the Constitution as a divinely inspired document — the principles of which have made this country the envy of the rest of the world. Liberals view this same document as outdated and as an obstruction to their more enlightened and progressive agenda."
    ______________________________

    If Mr. Booth doesn't understand the difference between a conservative and a far right extremist, then I'm not surprised at his understanding of what a liberal stands for.

  • DougS Oakley, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    "Separation of church and state" Does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. False interpretations have made it a mantra for the ACLU et al. According to their interpretation, we should destroy and re-build the Supreme Court building because it displays the 10 Commandments. We should permit religious use of human sacrifice/animal sacrifice or other defiant acts to prove that the government does not interfere with any religious practice.
    Where in the Constitution does it permit "warrantless searches"? Yet they are done..There are other interpretations of the document that are made to facilitate rules and refulations that anyone with "common sense" could not justify. The term "letter of the law" should also apply to the major law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Mostly I hear the cry for replacing the Constitution from those who are frustrated by the second amendment, and some others who don't like the fact that congress won't rubber stamp for the president since 2010.

    But there are more organized efforts too. Try Lawrence Lessig, Ezra Klein (a Washington Post/MSNBC guy), Sanford Levinson. I presume you are capable of googling more for yourself. They are out there.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    Christian 24-7, desiring to amend the Constitution is a far cry from "throwing it away and starting over" as you put it. The process to do so is in place, is available to the Left or the Right, and uses a democratic vote. If someone wants to use it to eliminate the Second Amendment or compel Congress to obey the President, they can knock themselves out trying.

    A short internet excursion ties a couple of the names you throw out to a fringe movement for another Constitutional Convention. A wiki synopsis states that members of both the Right and Left are behind it (albeit for different reasons).

    It doesn't seem remotely close of a threat to the Constitution as the neo-secessionist movement or screaming for another Revolution of 1776 that have grabbed the headlines from the Right over the past couple of months.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    The great "constitutional expert" sits in the White House. He tells us that he, the President has the authority to legislate health care. He tells us that he, the President, has the power to raise our taxes and to force one part of the people to pay the bills of another part of the people. He tells us that he, the President, has the authority to strip us of "arms", that he has the right to limit the capacity of a firearm, that he has the right to tell us which kinds of "arms" we have the right to keep and bear.

    He has no authority to do any of that. He stomps all over the Constitution every day of his life. He detests the fact that he has not been crowned king and that Congress and the Court do not have to bow before him.

    Those who are like him parrot everything that he says. Hatch has joined his group. Reid has joined his group. Pelosi has joined his group. Everyone who looks to government as the solution has joined his group. They forget that the People control the government, that the people hold all rights.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    It is very extreme to cause economic catastrophe by refusing to pay debts already incurred.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    Christian24/7

    Replying with 'Mostly I hear...' is not the same as providing a citation from a reliable source.

    Telling someone to use google is not the same as a citation.

    Effectively what you have shown us is that you stated your opinion as fact (again), and when you were called out for doing it, you failed to back up your statement with anything resembling support.

    Feel free to keep up your methods though. It helps the rest of us apply the necessary filters when reading your posts in the future.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    So because I don't agree with Ben's interpretation of the constitution then I am a progressive that thinks it is out dated? A little over simplistic don't you think?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    "But there are more organized efforts too. Try Lawrence Lessig, Ezra Klein (a Washington Post/MSNBC guy), Sanford Levinson. I presume you are capable of googling more for yourself. They are out there."

    Oh, I get it. When someone advocates "Amending the Constitution" you call that "Replacing the constitution"

    None of those you cite ever mentions replacing the constitution.

    And as has been pointed out previously, those on the right are far more active in advocating Amending the constitution.

    I do understand that claiming that liberals want to "replace the constitution" suits your narrative much better than the truth.

  • Liberal Today Murray, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    Our constitution is over 200 years old. It holds back the progress, and amending it would to allow progress would virtually be a rewrite anyway. We might as well call for a new constitutional convention.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    "Lawrence "Larry" Lessig has called for state-based activism to promote substantive reform of government with a Second Constitutional Convention" Constitutional conventions produce a whole new governing document.

    Sorry it is more than 4 words! I can see some of you can't/won't read more than that. No wonder you don't know what is going on around you.

    But hey, don't bother being informed. Just go listen to Lawrence O'donnell and Chris Matthews on MSNBC and get your fix of lying hate speech and your thrill up your leg. Then you can light candles for Obama and say conservatives are devils.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    The great "constitutional expert" sits in the White House.

    =============

    Speaking of "constitutional experts" Mike,
    I have a question for you and your "ilk" as you buddy RedShirt always says...

    If Corporations are "People"
    and you suppose "People" have this unrestricted right to Right to Keep and Bare any Arms you like....

    Stop and think --
    What's to stop a Mega-Huge American Corporation [now considered a "Person"] from buying up their own Armies and Navies, etc., etc. No restrictions, per your own arguement?

    [Better take a few mintutes -- stop, and take a long deep breath and think hard and deep as to how you're going to answer that one, and really consider who's side of Righteousness you might really be supporting there...brother.]

  • omni scent taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    To Mike Richards: you are correct, Obama has no authority to do any of that.

    ...however
    It was Congress that passed the Affordable Care Act. It was congress that raised taxes for the top bracket. It was a recommendation to congress to limit the capacity of firearms, and nothing in the executive orders from this week will strip you of your arms.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Enough with the conservative/liberal nonsense. This conservative has no illusion whatsoever that the constitution is 'divinely inspired'. If it were, we'd have no second amendment and gay marriage would be legal. God told me so, and you can't prove otherwise.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Lessig is currently considered politically liberal. As a law clerk, however, he worked for both Judge Richard Posner and Justice Antonin Scalia, two influentialconservative judges.

    Lessig has emphasized in interviews that his philosophy experience at Cambridge radically changed his values and career path. Previously, he had held strong conservative or libertarian political views, desired a career in business, was a highly active member of Teenage Republicans, serving as the Youth Governor for Pennsylvania through the YMCA Youth and Government program[9] in 1978 and almost pursued a Republican political career.

    Lessig refuses to embrace conventional libertarianism.

    Doesn't sound like he thinks he's a liberal?
    Sounds like he has an extensive background of conservative mentors which he learned to see thru, like many of us have done.

    and because one person said it, you think that makes your statement right?
    ....ah to be young and simple to convince again.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    oh u mean like this?

    Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly are calling for a federal constitutional convention to establish a balanced budget requirement and to repeal the 17th Amendment.

    and this?

    certain Tea Party Republicans—including allies of incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor—want to call a new Constitutional Convention to tear up and rewrite our founding document.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    The amendments can be amended geez. Just a year ago the conservatives wanted to change the 14th so people don't get citizenship for being born here.

    And the founders said if you get the votes you can change it.

    Just like the second will eventually be changed because the gun industry and it's nuts are being irresponsible.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    Who "owns" a corporation? It is owned and operated by people. People bought stock. People sit on the board of directors. Its CEO is a person. Its COO is a person. Its CFO is a person. Those people have the same rights that you and I have. You may want them to have fewer rights, but they have the right to "keep and bare [sic] arms".

    Do want to eliminate "The Corporation of the President"? Do you want to eliminate the corporation that pays your paycheck?

    It ridiculous to demand that unions have the right to "politic" but that people via corporations have to keep their mouths shut. Its ridiculous to demand that members of unions have the right to keep and bear arms but that people who own stock in corporations be stripped of that right.

    Your entire argument needs rethinking.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 17, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Neither the Constitution itself nor the delegates who drafted it in 1787 make any claim that the document was divinely inspired. What the historical record shows is a convention of quarreling delegates at cross purposes who in the end were able to compromise. When Joseph Smith said it was divinely inspired, he was regurgitating a popular notion that had been circulating since the early 1800s.

    I have no problem with people believing it was divinely inspired. It’s only when those same people talk as though their personal interpretation of the Constitution is divinely inspired that I start to feel a headache coming on.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 17, 2013 1:07 p.m.

    Extremists on both sides want to dump the Constitution. Let them howl. Meanwhile, those who are perpetrating the perception that all liberals want to dump the constitution are perpetrating a perception just as pejorative as the perception perpetrated by liberals that all conservatives are extremists.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    Liberals love the constitution every bit as much as conservative. The difference is, Liberals actually agree with the part about civil rights. Conservative would prefer to ignore that section.

  • George Bronx, NY
    Jan. 17, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    @christian 24-7

    So please tell us how your insults and gross stereotypes of other reflects your "Christian" values.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    Some conservatives read the Constitution they way they want and insist that their interpretation is right. Hence they rant and rave that the Constitution is under attack and accuse those who do not think exactly like themselves to be wrong.

    In some places, they even re-define words to support their particular views. And they oftentimes go beyond the realistic and infer that some other-worldly inspiration while denying the less-than-stellar writing that was achieved. They forget that the writing of the Constitution was a contentious argument among men of very different ideas.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    The "divinely inspired" line is odd. Any Christian living before the Age of Reason, to the extent they would have thought their was a supernatural being inspiring folks like Jefferson, would have said that being inhabits a place where the temperatures are a bit hotter than what we're used too.

    And then they would have tied Jefferson to a stake in order to demonstrate that fact...

  • Don Bugg Prince Frederick, MD
    Jan. 18, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    Does anyone notice that the Constitution contains provisions for allowing it to be altered or completely replaced? If the Constitution is partly the product of divine inspiration--as I believe it is--doesn't that mean the opportunity to change or completely replace it is a part of that divinely inspired system?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" corporations can buy guns and own them. They can even have their own "military". They are called private security firms. They usually employ people, and arm them with guns and have them go around protecting people. They even are hired by the US government to protect diplomats.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    @ open minded mormon

    Amending the constitution is not the problem. The constitution legally allows for it to be amended in a process. If people from both sides want to legally try and add amendments then that's fine. It is those who claim that it should be done away with that are the problem, the problem with that is there are not many who actually claim that like you said.