Are some amendments to the Constitution more important than others? The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” But now there is covert wire-tapping going on.

And the Sixth Amendment says, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial…” But now prisoners are held without being charged.

And the Eight Amendment states, “…nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Yet, we’ve all seen the pictures of humilations visited upon our “detainees.”

Finally, the Second Amendment says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Oh, here’s one that our government wants to uphold!

Several years ago there was a traveling exhibit of the Bill of Rights. It was displayed in San Jose. It was something I wanted to see. I went down to the Convention Center and was ushered into a room where the original Bill of Rights was displayed. I was so moved. This, I thought, is what we are all about. This is what makes me so proud to be an American.

There was a bumper sticker that we saw in a parking lot the other day. It said, “If you’re not appalled, you’re not paying attention!” Let’s pay attention before it’s too late.

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