Tag Archive for ‘First Amendment’
Since 1892, we’ve been making our schoolchildren say these eloquently simple words: “one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” (The “under God” phrase was added in 1954.) But in the wake of last week’s election, the seemingly sacrosanct Pledge of Allegiance has been shunted aside in a small tsunami of calls for secession [Read More]
Sounds like the opening line of a stand-up joke, doesn’t it? The fact that a Mormon candidate for President and his Roman Catholic running mate seem to be attracting very little attention over their respective religions is almost news in itself. And good news. After all, the Constitution says, but no religious test shall ever [Read More]
On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia, voted to adopt the United States Constitution. This is Constitution Day.
Today March 16, 2011, marks the 260th anniversary of the birth of America’s fourth President, James Madison, also known as “The Father of the Constitution.” While small in stature, and sometimes overshadowed by his more famous Virginian predecessors, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Madison must be considered one of the greatest of the Founding Fathers for the breadth and influence of his contributions.
Censorship is riding high. It is once again as American as apple pie, assassinations and anti-immigrant vitriol.
On December 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution: The Bill of Rights took effect. In 1941, on the 150th anniversary of the ratification, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that December 15th would be Bill of Rights Day. Now it may not be circled red on your calendar, but few [Read More]
We like to celebrate heroes of conscience, like Thoreau, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Unless they might be a “Socialist troublemaker” –like Eugene V. Debs, born this date in 1855. The epithet “Socialist” seems to be one of the worst things a politician can be called these days. In the early 20th century, Eugene [Read More]
My Civics Primer has been focusing on the Bill of Rights and continues with two more Amendments that deal with the rights of the accused –including perhaps the most famous of all, the Fifth Amendment.
Someone asked me recently what Americans need to know about our history and government. The answer is easy. There’s a test for that. It’s called the Naturalization Test, given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and applicants for citizenship must pass it. Could most American-born citizens pass it? In my experience testing audiences with [Read More]
Who is the Vice President? How many Senators are there? How many Supreme Court Justices? A new online survey suggests many Americans can’t answer those Civics 101 questions. That is a point underscored in a New York Times Week in Review article yesterday that points out how many Americans don’t know what the First Amendment [Read More]