“The framers of the constitution meant for it to be continuously updated,” my 11th grade son said at last night’s late-night dinner. “Jefferson and them would’ve thought it was a joke that we still have the right to bear arms and all that.”
This shocked me. Is not the constitution like the bible — holy, sacred, untouchable? Maybe when we lock up our books instead of live them, we lose our self determination. We entrust our happiness to people who wrote documents hundreds of years ago. And not realize we have powers ourselves.
“Other countries amend their constitutions all the time,” my son told me.
I thought of South Africa – in my lifetime – my adulthood, no less – it has revised its constitution to make it more inclusive, more just. The South African constitution has allowed gay marriage, abolished the death penalty, and guaranteed the participation of women and immigrants.
Thank you, South Africa and Nelson Mandela!
I was thinking about all this while I was stuck on a subway bound for New Work City Chinatown. On my iPhone I read the St. Paul and St. Andrew Advent email message from my friend Peggy. She advocated for the United Methodist Church to continue to grow and find new ways to love one another. Like new life on a tree, religions could include and love everyone, regardless of how or who they love.
Beautiful, living, and valuable books and sacred institutions, like religions and marriages, must grow too. Or whither and die.
Today’s daily prompt is about learning. I am lover of learning. I am especially curious on how framers and faith leaders write sacred books and readers read them.
I love learning about happiness and rewiring myself to have a happy life, or at least a meaningful life, given challenges which include patience around my husband’s chronic illness.
Let’s seize our right to grow, even in our constitutions. Let’s seize the day.
- Nelson Mandela’s Legacy to the World: Some Less Celebrated Aspects (stephendarorionverygreatpeople.wordpress.com)
- Revising the Constitution/Rescuing the dog from the roof of Romney’s car (prairieweather.typepad.com)