I keep reading and hearing that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are NOT open to interpretation (living) and are to be taken literally. The argument is that the Founding Fathers used to words and phrases that they used to create a set of rules that would be applicable in the future. Of course this generally only comes up in regards to the 2nd Amendment and the preservation of the “right” to own whatever “arms” people want to own.
The funny thing is, these same people also believe that they have a “right” to express their opinions through whatever media they want and it is also protected. They believe that they are free to believe whatever they want and act in whatever way they want and have ti also be protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. How is this possible? How can you post your thoughts on the Internet and assumed the “right” to do so is protected by a document that could not have been written with a global form of communication in mind? How is that right protected by the 1st Amendment?
Let’s take a look at what that amendment says:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The 1st Amendment protects your freedom of SPEECH, not the written word, not your postings online. If the words written over 200 years ago are to be read in a literal way in the 5th Amendment, they HAVE to be read in a literal way the entire time, you cannot pick and choose. So, which is it? Are your Constitutional rights set in stone or are they open to interpretation through the Supreme Court?
While we are on the subject; if you do not know the meaning of all 27 Amendments in the Bill of Rights, how about you don’t quote them as a defense. If you want to cite things, you should know the context and the intent of the people that wrote them and the times they were written.
Also and finally, how is it that classic movies like “Gone with the Wind” or “Birds” are recognized as not being socially relevant but documents written over 200 years ago are still seen as applicable to the way of life today?