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Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
  Henry Platt


The term "Civil Rights" has many different meanings for many different people. At the time of our nation's founding the Declaration of Independence declared rights for the People of the United States of America. Then on September 17, 1787 the Constitution for the United States of America was published, and it was ratified and became the Law of the Land on the effective date of March 4, 1789. This was the date that George Washington became the first President of the United States.

Beginning at that time, free male citizens being at least 21 years of age were accorded a broad range of civil rights, and among these were Life, Liberty, Justice, and Domestic Tranquility. The Constitution is concerned with the Rights, Duties, and the Limitations of the Government of the United States. The founding fathers were most concerned with all the rights of the people, and for this reason the tenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified November 3, 1791. It provides that the rights of government of the United States not included in in this Constitution "are reserved to the States and to the People."

The citizens of the United States were concerned that the previous government (of England) had too much power, and they wanted less government and less taxation. (Few people today are aware that the (defacto) Prime Minister enjoyed a salary more than twenty times that of President George Washington. The citizens of the United States wanted to provide for themselves - not an aristocracy. [Today the Aristocracy has been replaced by a bloated Bureaucracy in the United States, and this Bureaucracy is more affluent and more powerful than both houses of Parliament combined.

The concept of the founders and the Constitution of the United States both support the codependence of freedom and responsibility. The founding fathers wanted to be free of the restrictions and taxes of the Crown. They built the United States on the freedom and responsibility of the People to provide for themselves with the least interference, control from a central government.

Political Philosophers and Economists agree that freedom and responsibility are both interdependent and countervailing supports of human and all successful societies. A beehive is very interdependent, while bears are independent most of their adult lives.

Students of the Torah should all remember that Moses provided for the sick and disabled (and especially widows and orphans) with various laws and ordinances. Among these were provisions that required farmers were to leave the corners of fields as well as spilled crops for the poor. Today there are far too many people gorging at the public troth.

Many senior citizens supplement their retirement income by working (usually part-time) and thereby contributing to the success and fiscal health of our nation. So at the end of the day, "Civil Rights" do not include three hots and a cot unless you are in Jail. The Federal Government of The United States of America is only required by our Constitution to establish and defend our national sovereignty from all enemies both foreign and domestic. Some of the individual States (and Commonwealths) have passed legislation to provide health care for some of their citizens. Some of the States have passed legislation to provide cars for some of their people, and some municipalities have created parks and places to swim. It is not a "Civil Right" for a quadriplegic to demand accommodations so that he may visit and swim at the village pool in Ridgewood, New Jersey without assistance.

It is a "Civil Right" for a young woman to enjoy all the rights and privileges accorded to other citizens of the United States even if her grandfather was born in Rhodesia - so long as she is affluent enough to buy and pay for them.

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