Constitution Week

My local community arts center has an old fashioned theater for its principal performing center. Its equally old fashioned marquee currently proclaims CONSTITUTION WEEK. No particular activities have been scheduled and the local papers have not yet informed me of any observances or ceremonies. Still it is nice to know that the Constitution of the U.S. rates a week in which someone publicly declares the value of its existence. I like to reflect from time to time on the great value of living in a country which has a written document that purports to set out how it shall be governed and what the basic rights of its citizens shall be. With the Tea Party and its supporters claiming that the document should be understood to mean exactly what they wished it meant and the liberal wing of the Democratic Party proclaiming the desperate need to amend it to mean what they say it must mean, sometimes its nice to know there is a document that I can read and study to reach my own conclusions. I fell in love with this document in eighth grade civics class. Sixty years later I know of no better pastime for an American than continuing the habit of such contemplation. Without this document and the struggle for two centuries to understand and apply its principles, this country certainly would not exist. These principles begin with the simple notion that such a document should set the framework and outline the limits of government. A government of law rather than men. Philadelphia has become for Americans what Sinai was for the Israelites. May it always be so.

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