On December 15 we mark one of the most important dates in American history, yet it is one with which I am sure many of you may not be familiar. The 'Bill of Rights Day' is celebrated on December 15, and the fact that this date in history is one of the most unnoticed and ignored speaks volumes about the U.S. educational system.
Since 1941 the ratification of the Bill of Rights has been commemorated in this country on December 15. Yet today, I am sure that the average guy on the street has no clue that one of the most significant events in human history happened on that day...thanks to the dumbing down of the educational system and the failure of modern politicians to give proper recognition to the basic rights we all are guaranteed in the United States of America.
The original Constitution, ratified in 1788, had no Bill of Rights. The fledgling young Republic had just managed to fight off the British for their independence and declare themselves a new nation united by a commonly accepted rule of law--the U.S. Constitution. Yet long before the Constitution was ratified many of the Founders insisted that the document would be woefully incomplete without protecting certain individual rights. One of these was James Madison, who was elected by Virginia to the first Congress upon the promise that he would work for a Bill of Rights.
George Mason, also of Virginia, refused to sign the original Constitution precisely because it contained no Bill of Rights. Mason had written a Bill of Rights for the state of Virginia which many other states used to adopt their own Bill of Rights.
Patrick Henry had originally opposed the inclusion of the Bill. Revisionist historians often use Henry as some sort of proof that the Founders were not in agreement about the rights that should be guaranteed to the citizens. Nothing could be further from the truth. Henry also opposed the Constitution. But this was not due to anything other than his opposition to a centralized government of any kind, believing instead that such power should be reserved for the states.
It is also to be noted that in spite of Patrick Henry's initial opposition, he would later change his mind and work for both the U.S. Constitution and for the ratification of the Bill of Rights.
Having succeeded in getting a Constitution approved by the states, the Founders went to work on a document that would protect the rights with which each citizen had been endowed by their Creator. The Bill does not 'grant' or 'give' rights. The rights are automatically inherent in our very existence. The Constitution PROTECTS these basic, inherent rights.
In 1789 the Bill of Rights was written in Federal Hall in New York City, which at the time was the capital of the U.S. The first Congress was made up of 26 Senators and 65 Representatives from the 13 states. On September 25, 1789, Congress passed 12 amendments to the Constitution which would be called the Bill of Rights. In October of that year President George Washington sent a copy of the 12 amendments to the states for their approval.
From October of 1789 until December of 1791 the thirteen states debated the amendments. By the time the amendments had made their rounds the original 12 amendments were whittled down to 10. On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the eleventh state to ratify the 10 amendments, and thus, according to the provisions of amending the Constitution, the Bill of Rights became part of the supreme law of the land.
During these days when collectivist revisionists see no inherent individual rights in the Bill of RIGHTS, it is vitally important to note that the sole motivation of the Founders in insisting on the Bill was the protection of INDIVIDUAL rights. It is impossible, for example, for someone to make a valid philosophical argument claiming that the 2nd Amendment does nothing but establish a militia, when the whole idea of the Bill to begin with was to protect the INDIVIDUAL rights of citizens.
Thus, on this December 15 let each of us as Americans give thought to the basic philosophical premise that motivated the Founders--that each individual American is free, and as such, we are guaranteed the protection of certain specified individual rights. If no such guarantee exists, then the whole notion of establishing a free Republic was in vain.