The Bill of Rights. Its Purpose?

druryj

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
21,476
Reaction score
17,694
Location
Yukon, OK
I remember studying about the early days of our nation’s history and how a whole lot of those old guys and even some of the new states as a whole were not so sure about this whole “Constitution” thing. I mean, here we had been fighting to get out from under an oppressive, burdensome, top-heavy government and all of a sudden, well...we did, and the new guys in charge decide they wanna lay out their version of what is okay as far as “the people” and what isn’t okay and then make everybody sign it. So some of the more recalcitrant knuckleheads said they’d only do it if James Madison would write down some amendments to this brand new Constitution thing and base it largely on Virginia’s Declaration of Rights. James M. was a pretty good writer, and that’s about all they could agree on. Politicians....sheeesh!
They never change.

It seems that Madison took the shortcut and rather than reinvent the wheel, so to speak, he more or less did just copy it off Virginia largely to satisfy those hold-outs. Government was in its infancy but had already learned to stonewall, pander, bribe and so on. They said “git ‘et done” and so he did.

But...but...but base this bunch of changes or whatever on something from Virginia? “What’s up with that”? Asked one old fat guy with round glasses and a cheap wig. See, Virginia was well known as a model of free ideas, and free men, with a whole new way of looking at things rather than just having some far away king bossin’ everybody around and taxin’ the crap outta ya and stuff. People at that times were pretty fed up with all that king stuff alright, and decided that they wanted to be in charge of themselves for a change. John Hancock, another rich bigshot back then, basically told that stinkin’ king “Go screw yourself, King. You’re not the boss of me”.

So Madison wrote like 17 amendments, and then after a lot of cussin and discussin’ and stuff, they whittled it down to 12. But at the end of the day, the politicians from all these new states were still not sold on the idea of a powerful Federal Government and really wanted to keep more power for the states, and for the individual people in those states. So when they voted, they only agreed on and ratified 10 of ‘em. And they called them The Bill of Rights.

The whole idea was to provide for a set of rights to protect individual citizens from the possibility of an overpowering, crushingly oppressive government, like the one they’d just beat the crap out of in the war. Wars suck, but overly powerful governments suck even worser. Like a whole lot more worse even.

The purpose of The Bill of Rights is to provide for certain constitutional rights of individuals in relation to their government. It is NOT about the rights of the government, it is about the rights of “we the people”.

You may notice when you read the thing that the first several refer to “the people.” Like “the people” have the right to assemble, to free speech, to keep and bear arms and such. The people this, the people that. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights about the rights of the government; nope. It’s all about the rights of the people.

So you Dems and leftists liberals can whine and cry all you want and you can damn well just stop with that lame crap about “the militia means the National Guard”. It’s about the people fool, individuals, and the people IS the damn militia, and the whole idea is to give us some safeguards against thugs like you from oppressing us ever, and I say again ever, again. Think I’m kidding? Try me. Here; pull my finger...

And that’s all I have to say about that. For now.

EDIT: Lemme just post this here so you don't have to go look it up.

The Bill of Rights – First 10 Amendments

  1. 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.
  2. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
  3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
  4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
  7. In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
  10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
 
Last edited:

ConstitutionCowboy

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
5,560
Reaction score
3,731
Location
Kingfisher County
...

The whole idea was to provide for a set of rights to protect individual citizens from the possibility of an overpowering, crushingly oppressive government, like the one they’d just beat the crap out of in the war. Wars suck, but overly powerful governments suck even worser. Like a whole lot more worse even.

The purpose of The Bill of Rights is to provide for certain constitutional rights of individuals in relation to their government. It is NOT about the rights of the government, it is about the rights of “we the people”.

You may notice when you read the thing that the first several refer to “the people.” Like “the people” have the right to assemble, to free speech, to keep and bear arms and such. The people this, the people that. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights about the rights of the government; nope. It’s all about the rights of the people.

So you Dems and leftists liberals can whine and cry all you want and you can damn well just stop with that lame crap about “the militia means the National Guard”. It’s about the people fool, individuals, and the people IS the damn militia, and the whole idea is to give us some safeguards against thugs like you from oppressing us ever, and I say again ever, again. Think I’m kidding? Try me. Here; pull my finger...

...

I like most of what you have written, but I've got a couple things to point out that do disturb me.

One is that the government doesn't have rights - government only has powers we grant to it. To say the government has rights is to put it on an equal footing to us. Government is our servant.

The second issue is that the Constitution does not provide us with our rights. The Constitution protects our rights from the government - the government that is our servant.

One more minor issue - though it is irrelevant to this discussion - is that 11 of the 12 proposed amendments have been ratified and stand as added articles to the Constitution. An eleventh proposed amendment from the original list ended up being ratified as the Twenty-seventh added article (27th Amendment) on May 7, 1992. It states: "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

Wouldn't you know, however, true to our elected Senators and Representatives reputation(s) that a bill was passed November 30, 1989, granting themselves automatic pay raises every year, 2-1/2 years before the Amendment was ratified! Congress has to pass a bill not to receive that raise on a yearly basis. To their credit though, Congress has voted not to receive their raises since 2010.

Woody
 

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
3,121
Reaction score
668
Location
C'ville, America
Too many fail to realize that the Bill of Rights isn't a gift to the people from a benevolent government, but rather, an acknowledgment that as a free people, these rights are inherent; very similar to Natural Law. St. Thomas Aquinas would be proud.

Interestingly, I remember reading that the Bill of Rights was somewhat controversial, in that some feared they could be viewed as a "totality" of rights. As in, someone could argue "You don't have that right; it's not listed ANYWHERE in the Bill of Rights, so you don't get that one!". Happily, it hasn't been interpreted that way. Those founding fathers were pretty sharp cookies.
 

druryj

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
21,476
Reaction score
17,694
Location
Yukon, OK
Too many fail to realize that the Bill of Rights isn't a gift to the people from a benevolent government, but rather, an acknowledgment that as a free people, these rights are inherent; very similar to Natural Law. St. Thomas Aquinas would be proud.

Interestingly, I remember reading that the Bill of Rights was somewhat controversial, in that some feared they could be viewed as a "totality" of rights. As in, someone could argue "You don't have that right; it's not listed ANYWHERE in the Bill of Rights, so you don't get that one!". Happily, it hasn't been interpreted that way. Those founding fathers were pretty sharp cookies.

With regard to your second para, see #9.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dennishoddy

Sharpshooter
Supporting Member
Special Hen Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
76,637
Reaction score
40,066
Location
Ponca City Ok
The Bill of Rights guarantees civil rights and liberties to the individual(the people) like freedom of speech, press, and religion. It sets rules for due process of law and reserves all powers not delegated to the Federal Government to the people or the States.

I've just been dumbfounded at these liberals that have been running this sham impeachment proceeding citing the importance of honoring the oath of office in front of the cameras while attempting to overthrow the Bill of Rights behind closed doors and in public sometimes.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
 

SoonerP226

Sharpshooter
Special Hen
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
9,465
Reaction score
6,132
Location
Norman
As far as granting vs guaranteeing, I think ol' Chuck put it quite eloquently:

To say that the Constitution "gives" citizens their freedom is like saying that a birth certificate gives humans life or that a property survey gives a building and its grounds their concrete existence.
-- Charlton Heston

In a nutshell, the point of the Constitution itself is to tell the Federal Gov't "these things you may do, and nothing else." The point of the Bill of Rights is to say to gov't, "no matter what else you are allowed to do, these boundaries you shall not violate."
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom