Vail Daily letter: They meant what they wrote | VailDaily.com
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Vail Daily letter: They meant what they wrote

Fredric Butler
letters@vaildaily.com
Eagle, CO Colorado

So now we have it from the pen of the Rev. Jack R. Van Ens (Vail Daily, Jan. 16) that the founding fathers treated their handiwork (the Constitution of the United States) as “a living and evolving document bound to no particular era”, and that “its meaning evolves beyond its original intent” – incredible!

Common sense would have it that the fathers very well knew that the founding charter applied to their era, and manifested their intent to establish for the first time in recorded history a government dedicated to preserving the unalienable rights of man and an enduring freedom for his progeny.

From reading the Federalist Papers of Madison and of the Constitution itself, it is evident that the founders meant exactly what they wrote, that the protections, limitations on government and acknowledgements applied to all ages or eras thereafter without the spin or “reinterpretations” of such intent by subsequent generations of Americans. The acknowledgment of unalienable rights are the same today, and ought to be given the efficacy as Madison et al intended, without reinterpretation or reconstruction to facilitate the agenda of interest groups that abound in today’s society, including Van Ens’ own nonprofit and tax-exempt “Creative Growth” or ACORN and that ilk.



Jefferson and his brethren meant to limit the powers of the federal government (Article I, Section 8 and the Ninth and 10th Amendments) in their day and in ours. It appears that Van Ens has now reinterpreted the Constitutional limitations to expand the powers of the federal government to accommodate the exigencies of our day – when Van Ens says that the values set forth in the Constitution “must be reinterpreted in every era because social developments impinge on them”, that is patently disingenuous, and designed to misconstrue a true sense of history.

Van Ens further avers that “though the Constitution articulates enduring principles that our nation cherishes and practices, these values must be reinterpreted in every era because social developments impinge on them.” This is nonsensical, since if the principles are to be enduring they are not subject to reinterpretation by subsequent generations or interest groups.



Would Van Ens interpret the Law of Moses (Exodus 20) to be ever-changing to accommodate his or someone else’s agenda? Ergo, can “murder” be qualified to exempt from its meaning abortion to subserve the interests of the pro-choice agenda?

Without certainty and definition in the provisions of the Constitution or the Ten Commandments, we are left without the rule of law. We are relegated to politics or the pontifications or reinterpretations of religions in general. The constraints placed upon the federal government today by a certain and articulated Constitution is much more preferable to an ever expanding, encroaching and tyrannical government resulting from a “living” Constitution that Van Ens has reinterpreted.

Humility is not a federal character trait, nor is it a religious one. So we still have much to learn from the Constitution or the Laws of Moses in our era.


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