To the editor:
How well do you know the U.S. Constitution? If you are like most Americans, the answer is, "Not very well." For most of us, the Constitution is something we maybe learned a little about in high school, but haven't really studied since.
Is that a problem? It depends on your political point of view.
If you are a big-government "progressive" who wants to change America into a European-style socialist state, that ignorance is a good thing. In fact, the less your fellow Americans know about the Constitution, the better. Then you can tell them that this right or that right is "in the Constitution" and they, being the simple fools that they are, will assume that you know what you are talking about. Then you can change the America of our founding fathers into your socialist America and tell them there has been no change at all.
Take, for example, the current public debate about same-sex marriage. Last Saturday the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage. This position, they said, is "deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
Is that what the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution was all about? Really?
The Fourteenth Amendment was one of the Civil War amendments. The purpose of these amendments was to ensure that former slaves would be given the full status of U.S. citizens and that no state laws would treat them any differently than they treat anyone else. The amendment says: "No state shall deny to any person who lives within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
At the time of its adoption, no one had any intention of sanctioning sexual relationships between members of the same sex. If that had been their intention, state anti-sodomy laws would have been immediately challenged and struck down. But those laws stood unchallenged for more than a hundred years.
If the Constitution is to have any meaning at all, it must be viewed as a contract between the people and the federal government. And any contract must be interpreted according to its original intent and meaning. Just as the bank cannot come back to you later and reinterpret your mortgage contract years after it was signed, so political liberals must not be allowed to discover new "rights" in the Constitution that the founding fathers never imagined.
Same-sex marriage is not a "right." It is not in the Constitution. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.
Michael A. Thom