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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  Is the US Constitution Outdated? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Is the US Constitution Outdated?  (Read 3455 times)
ulthar
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 08:39:02 PM »

I guess it boils down to figuring out if your country is a power because of it, or despite it.

That being said, I don't see how a document created over 100 years ago will remain relevant as society changes, so its important to keep up with changing attitudes as they become universally applicable...

That's the fundamental, core problem and the root of the debate.

Some of believe as you have written.

Some of us believe that the "core" of our nation should not change, should not open to reinterpretation.

One of the biggest problems with adherence to the reinterpretation ideology is that the re-interpreters lack the historical perspective to give "the big picture."  Most in this camp merely want what they want for their own convenience and cannot really see what's best for a nation of people.

THAT is what makes the US Constitution as it is written profound.  It transcends "who is in power today" and other similar problems.  THAT is why it is hard to change.  The tenants of the documents that many claim are out-dated are bigger than the individuals that seek to define it.

Consider as but one example the notion that the rights of men do NOT come from government, they are inherent rights that government cannot take away.

I strongly urge anyone not familiar with how profound this is to read Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and pay particular attention to two key points in the story: When the Professor is explaining "rational anarchy" in the first section, and when Manny is describing the driving forces behind the rebellion.

It's a core philosophical difference...are men naturally "free" or does freedom only come from codified law?
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 08:46:25 PM »

Good points all.
Flick and I have chased this cat around the tree many times, but I will just say this:
sometimes evil must be opposed. It carries a high price tag to do so, especially when so much of the
world is simply willing to let evil have its way, but failing to oppose evil is the first step in surrendering
to it.  I like it when America stands for SOMETHING.
The driving force in a large part of the world today is Islamic fundamentalism.  It is aggressive, it is expansionist,
and its core, driving philosophy is nightmarishly evil.  It opposes and seeks to end virtually every notion of human
freedom that our nation is founded on.
It has swallowed the Middle East and much of Africa and Asia.  It is in the process of taking over Europe.  And its
eyes are on us.
Do we oppose it?  Or do we begin the long surrender to barbaric, authoritarian theocracy under the iron law of a God
whose 99 attributes have never included the simple notion of love?

That is why I think Ron Paul is a fool when it comes to foreign policy.  I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 12:10:18 AM »

Who cares? 

Is the US Constitution Outdated?
 

No.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 08:42:04 AM »

christian jewish and muslim relgious fanatics are intent on destroying the world. somehow they've manuvered themselves into positions of power and we need to manuver them out.
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tracy
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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 01:31:52 PM »

christian jewish and muslim relgious fanatics are intent on destroying the world. somehow they've manuvered themselves into positions of power and we need to manuver them out.
Must politely disagree here....we as Christians are definitely not trying to destroy the world. Wink
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ulthar
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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2012, 01:35:31 PM »

christian jewish and muslim relgious fanatics are intent on destroying the world. somehow they've manuvered themselves into positions of power and we need to manuver them out.

Must politely disagree here....we as Christians are definitely not trying to destroy the world. Wink

That is presumably because you are not a fanatic.

There are many Christians that paint Christianity with a bad brush.  They do us no service.  I think it is fair and required for intellectual honesty to admit that point.
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tracy
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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2012, 01:48:02 PM »

christian jewish and muslim relgious fanatics are intent on destroying the world. somehow they've manuvered themselves into positions of power and we need to manuver them out.

Must politely disagree here....we as Christians are definitely not trying to destroy the world. Wink

That is presumably because you are not a fanatic.

There are many Christians that paint Christianity with a bad brush.  They do us no service.  I think it is fair and required for intellectual honesty to admit that point.
It is true indeed....and pretty disheartening when Christianity is used as a smokescreen for personal gains.
I just want those folks who use the Constitution to push us aside to realize that Freedom of Religion does include Christians. I don't think anyone should be persecuted because that's what the Amendment is for but it also gives us the right to be Christians. I was watching the news earlier today and one single "atheist" high school girl wants a Christian banner removed from her school wall,saying it violated her rights,as per separation of church and state. There is no actual separation in the Constitution and what about the rights of the ones who want it there? Why are her rights more important than the rest?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 01:54:58 PM by tracy1963 » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2012, 04:38:36 AM »

Well, to extend the "operating system" metaphor, why should other countries feel the need to copy our Constitution? Presumably they have people smart enough to know what they want in a government and should be free to adopt whatever they want, for better or worse.

The original article is wrong-headed on the face of it, mixing anti-Americanism with legal matters. Okay, but it's missing the central point.

The U.S. Constitution is really pretty spare in its actual language, and the laws it provides for. That was by design. Our system of government was meant to be fluid. The U.S. Constitution was written in many ways to limit power. Outdated? It's one of the most hotly contested texts in history, and it is being attacked and explored daily for what it truly means to the nation.

You may have also heard of these things we call Amendments.

And to bring up that Jefferson quote, well, for all his importance in the founding of the U.S., Jefferson has always been a bit of a reckless jackass.

Are there other constitutions out there that new nations would rather adopt than ours? Sure, and more power to them. But picking the "law of the land" isn't liking picking out the latest, sexiest new paperback novel. It's quite a bit more nuanced than that.
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2012, 08:22:19 AM »

what would people change?
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Flick James
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2012, 10:26:11 AM »

Well, to extend the "operating system" metaphor, why should other countries feel the need to copy our Constitution? Presumably they have people smart enough to know what they want in a government and should be free to adopt whatever they want, for better or worse.

The original article is wrong-headed on the face of it, mixing anti-Americanism with legal matters. Okay, but it's missing the central point.

The U.S. Constitution is really pretty spare in its actual language, and the laws it provides for. That was by design. Our system of government was meant to be fluid. The U.S. Constitution was written in many ways to limit power. Outdated? It's one of the most hotly contested texts in history, and it is being attacked and explored daily for what it truly means to the nation.

You may have also heard of these things we call Amendments.

And to bring up that Jefferson quote, well, for all his importance in the founding of the U.S., Jefferson has always been a bit of a reckless jackass.

Are there other constitutions out there that new nations would rather adopt than ours? Sure, and more power to them. But picking the "law of the land" isn't liking picking out the latest, sexiest new paperback novel. It's quite a bit more nuanced than that.

It's nice when somebody can provide sound commentary sans political posturing. Thank you.
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RCMerchant
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2012, 11:26:09 AM »

Sure it's outdated.
Only because it dont conform to fat cats way of thinking. It makes me sick.
Theres no way the Constitution could conform with there money hungry "gimme more" mentality that exists in this f**king country.
It usta be the people controlled the goverment. Now the goverment control the people.
You cant do this-you cant do that-you cant you cant you cant.
I cant even smoke a cigerette on the street.
Bulls**t.
Unless you have money,of course.Then you can break all sorts of laws-in the name of God and Country. The Constitution? What's that. It's a technicality-easly breeched by bulls**t rhetoric.
Yeah-it's outdated.
It's a joke.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:50:34 AM by RCMerchant » Logged

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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2012, 11:40:10 AM »

I think Thomas jefferson said he wished they had included a prohibtion on the government borrowing. That would have saved us alot of hassles for sure.
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ulthar
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2012, 12:08:06 PM »

I think Thomas jefferson said he wished they had included a prohibtion on the government borrowing. That would have saved us alot of hassles for sure.

Only if they follow it, which as you've said they largely don't.

The introduction of the practice of Executive Orders to create an end-run around the entire Legislative Branch?  Wow.
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Flick James
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2012, 03:43:07 PM »

christian jewish and muslim relgious fanatics are intent on destroying the world. somehow they've manuvered themselves into positions of power and we need to manuver them out.

Must politely disagree here....we as Christians are definitely not trying to destroy the world. Wink

That is presumably because you are not a fanatic.

There are many Christians that paint Christianity with a bad brush.  They do us no service.  I think it is fair and required for intellectual honesty to admit that point.
It is true indeed....and pretty disheartening when Christianity is used as a smokescreen for personal gains.
I just want those folks who use the Constitution to push us aside to realize that Freedom of Religion does include Christians. I don't think anyone should be persecuted because that's what the Amendment is for but it also gives us the right to be Christians. I was watching the news earlier today and one single "atheist" high school girl wants a Christian banner removed from her school wall,saying it violated her rights,as per separation of church and state. There is no actual separation in the Constitution and what about the rights of the ones who want it there? Why are her rights more important than the rest?

Not that I'm condoning religious persecution of any kind, but please. Yes, I agree that stories like what you bring up are ridiculous, but persecution? I would love to ask a Christian from 300 A.D. for his/her opinion on what modern Christians classify as persecution and watch them laugh. Despite the occasional sensational news story here and there, you largely HAVE free exercise. And yes, there IS separation of church and state at least to some degree. If there wasn't there wouldn't even be an Establishment Clause. This separation has been debated and argued since the 1700's, so it is there whether you want it be or not.

I have become certain that Christians, whether they admit it or not, HATE the Establishment Clause with a passion. The religious right will say that there is no separation of church and state, because it doesn't use those words in the Constitution, yet they will say that the Establishment Clause was ONLY meant to prohibit an official state church, even though it doesn't say that in the Constitution either.

It never ceases to amaze me how much people, both left and right, will interpret such simple things as the free exercise and free practice portions of the 1st Amendment. The language is so simple, but yet so open. We can argue back and forth all day long and in the end you will interpret it one way and I will interpret it another, and neither of us will be necessarily wrong.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

Very simple. This is generally interpreted to prohibit a) the establishment of a national religion by Congress and b) the preference of the government of one religion over another. The right tends to accept the former to the exclusion of the latter, and the left tends to do just the opposite, and then they proceed to push the limits of their respective interpretations. If the dust settles, which it never will, they are both reasonable and logical components of the language set forth in the Constitution. "Separation of church and state," while not expressly said in the Constitution, exists to the extent that founders like Thomas Jefferson and others have interpreted it thus. So, it exists to that extent.

"or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

Between that and the first part, that's all there is. I'm sorry that the founders left things so open and I understand that it is important to you to believe that they intended a Christian nation, but that's just the way it is. Reynolds v. United States was the first interpretation of free exercise by the Supreme Court, and it set up some basic ground rules on what is an otherwise VERY open and ambiguous part of the religion clauses. In light of the consideration of such things as polygamy and human sacrifice, the court's only reasonable response was to establish that "laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices." This clearly establishes that practices can be interfered with. I know that proselytism is an important practice for Christians.

Now personally, it doesn't bother me in the slightest if I am on a public school campus or on the streets and someone wants to witness to me. Is it silly that 95% of a public school campus can be okay with proselytizing on campus and 5%, by raising a stink, can cause it to be prohibited? Yes, I think it's silly. However, the basic ground rules set down by Reynold v. United States, for better or worse, made it such that this could be seen as a practice rather than a belief, and so can be seen as grounds for interfering with. I know that the decision was intended to address extreme practices such as human sacrifice and I doubt the members of the Supreme Court at the time had any beefs with proselytizing, but practice is practice and belief is belief, and who is going to decide what practices are extreme enough to warrant interference? I don't know about you, but I don't trust the government to make that decision for a moment.

So yes, unfortunately there are going to be those who will make a big deal about a banner containing a Christian message, and yes, I think that is ridiculous. In the end, however, I'm afraid such ridiculousness is supported, or at least given consideration, by the Constitution as it has been generally interpreted. In the end nobody is prohibiting anybody's belief by prohibiting a banner.

As bothersome as the Reynolds v. United States decision may be to some, ultimately I do believe it was the most reasonable interpretation of free exercise that could have arisen from that case. The religious clauses of the 1st Amendment, and in particular the latter portion, are just too simple and ambiguous, and thus every bit as much a part of the open and fluid nature of the Constitution as any other part of it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 03:50:02 PM by Flick James » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2012, 05:37:43 PM »

it isn't unitarians and Sufi muslims who are in the newspaper everyday threatening violence and wars. It's israelis and their evangelical counterparts in the US and wahabi muslims.
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