This is the "birthday" of our marvelous Constitution of the United States of America! Let us give thanks for it!
There have been countless forms of government throughout the history of mankind. But the Constitution has proved to be far superior to any other charter of human government in promoting what the Declaration of Independence labeled as our "unalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
It was almost miraculous that on this date Sept. 17 in the year 1787, an assembly of men in Philadelphia managed to come to agreement on the Constitution, which the states would later ratify.
The Constitution is the basis of the liberty and justice that we enjoy in the United States. It is a brilliant balance of powers -- and restrictions on power -- and it promotes the best interests of our free people in this blessed nation.
Despite our individual imperfections and despite occasional challenges, violations and stresses in war and peace throughout centuries, the Constitution has survived.
Is it perfect?
Times change. Challenges vary. But among the Constitution's virtues is the orderly, cautious process that it provides to amend it, if we feel a need to do so. The prescribed process prevents us from falling victim to sudden passions and partisan whims, which might otherwise allow us to undermine our cherished freedoms in pursuit of an unwise or short-term goal.
We, the people, by our Constitution, have delegated specific powers to the federal government -- with the 10th Amendment reserving all others to the states or the people. That important provision has helped us to preserve liberties that most people outside the United States do not enjoy.
What if we didn't have the Constitution? Can you imagine what we might do, today, if we "started from scratch," to attempt to write a new Constitution?
Do you believe we could do as well as the men who gathered at the Constitutional Convention in 1787? We doubt it!
But if you're not sure, just sit down and try to write the kind of Constitution you think might be better. Could you devise surer guarantees of personal freedom? Could you provide better means for our nation to exercise needed governmental power -- but not too much power?
Whatever the Constitution's imperfections may be, the real danger in government today is not that we will adhere "too closely" to it, but that we will not adhere to it as carefully and specifically as we should!
We should resolve, therefore, to defend and uphold the Constitution, to treasure it and honor it -- and to preserve it for ourselves and future generations.
Today, on the birthday of the Constitution, all of us Americans should be humbly grateful for that enduring document -- and for the "blessings of liberty" that it secures for us.
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