I Cannot Live Without My Life, I Cannot Life Without My Soul: Law Edition

I Cannot Live Without My Life, I Cannot Life Without My Soul: Law Edition

The Founding Fathers could foresee a clash between state and federal government, but they did not anticipate a technological revolution; Would it be fair to say that the Constitution is lacking in modernization, or should society format itself according to the Law of the Land?

The Constitution is the most important piece of legislation for the United States (maybe coming second only to the Declaration of Independence). Over the years, it has come to have a total of 27 Amendments that each citizen abides by. While some of these Amendments seem frivolous such as Amendment 18, there’s a reason that each Amendment is in a piece of legislation called the “Law of the Land.” However, as years continue to pass and innovations continue to develop, there is a question that is at the forefront of law interpretation: is the Constitution “outdated?”

Now, absolutely, the Constitution is not something to challenge without a strong sense of confidence and ability to make the case. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something to at least consider, especially in the midst of a technological revolution. Each day, there is something new in the works that no one has heard of; it has become clear that there is no finite point of “inventing everything that will ever be invented.” There are a lot of topics not discussed in the Constitution which can be seen two ways: strict and loose, which intertwine with both modernist and originalist theory. With strict interpretation from a federal standpoint, one can look at a document and say “the issue at hand is not discussed here; therefore, the decision should be left to the states or individuals to decide for themselves.” In a loose sense, any issue can be seen in such a light that it may not be discussed or formally laid out, so there is nothing that says a federal government can’t establish laws for it. In other words, originalist theory supporters like the thought of interpreting the Constitution as it was meant to be interpreted, while modernist theory supporters argue that the Constitution should be interpreted and dealt with pertaining to a contemporary sense.

There’s also the notion that the Constitution was written by a select group of people for a select group of people. This is a contributing factor as to why there are amendments like 14, 15, and 19. So, in alignment with modernist constitutional theory and originalist theory as well as interpretation, a grand question could amount to the following: should there be a bigger push for more amendments as we progress as a society or should the Constitution stay framed as is currently is and leave the rest up to the states?

If the Constitution is left as it stands in original theory, this could lead to a lot of discontent among citizens, as there are no universal laws for something like healthcare. This could drive more migration among people and really mess up state economies. If someone is in dire need of better healthcare and does not receive it from a state or a private company in a way that can suit them, what other choice is there than to move to somewhere else to increase that person’s standard of living?

However, with modernist theory, some feel as if that could be overruling a document so important that it has carried a nation for over 200 years. Also, with too much government intervention, it can lead some citizens to feel as if they don’t really have a say in what happens because the government will do what it wants anyway. Why would I vote on healthcare if the government won’t listen to my voice? (Another reason to always call your representatives and vote: they need to hear your voice). Not to mention, specifically with healthcare, there could be virtually only one standard of care and the very idea of caring for someone would be very different than what it is now in the U.S., as seen in England.

Personally, I feel like that the Amendment process is so difficult for a reason, but I think it’s worth it to try and continue to add to it. The ERA should have been passed in its time, but it did not; if people still feel as if those same injustices still exist today, then by all means, do what you can to reintroduce it and fight for it. I understand the originalist thought and the want to leave the choice up to the states, but I also think that could get messy, especially for people who live on state borders/ people who live in a town with half in one state and the other half in another. It could create a lot of problems to have varying rules upon varying states, so I think government intervention in the sense of setting at least a minimum standard for each state is good.

While I feel as if people should truly petition for another Amendment if their heart so desires, I don’t necessarily think it’s the first place to start. There’s got to be an outstanding problem where one can gather a consensus from other peers in order to bolster a movement and fight back. Sometimes, Amendments don’t have to do the trick and passing legislation for an Act can.

Originalist theory and modernist theory are two polar opposites, but carry an illustrative point that it’s important to understand what the pros and cons are of government intervention, as well as whose rights among all citizens would be impacted the most. They also carry the point to not only pay attention to the politics of it all, but to also be sure one understands what’s happening in the Supreme Court and who exactly is in charge there, as well as some of the lower courts. Judge decisions should not be decided on a personal agenda, but rather an honest judgment and examination of what exactly the impact of one law can carry.

Cover Image Credit: Ted Eytan, Wikimedia

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My Prayers for Parkland

God is listening and He is moving

Parkland has had a frightening, dark week. I would venture to say that the city has never seen such hopeless and tragic days. When tragedy strikes, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the burden of the reality of what has happened. How easy it is to feel so small, so useless and so helpless. In those moments of defeat and heartbreak, we can only do what we know to be best: pray.

However, over the past week, my prayer life has seemed different than usual. I’ve found myself in a place of longing to cry out to God to cover the city of Parkland in prayer and to intercede on behalf of all involved, yet unable to find any words. It’s a weird feeling to have so much to say, but to be completely and utterly speechless at the same time.

The beautiful thing is that Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus lives to intercede for us in heaven. While we are giving our measly attempt to intercede for those around us, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God praying on behalf of us. I think this is the most encouraging and comforting thought.

Although our prayers may feel inadequate and empty, the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings is listening to you. With this truth, I pray with authority and faith-- being expectant that God will move.

I pray that the churches in the area will respond with love and kindness. That they won’t allow differences to separate them, but that they will use it as an opportunity to show the love and heart of Christ to ultimately further His Kingdom.

I pray that everyone involved would feel a peace like no other and once they encounter this peace they would realize that something like that could not come from a world like this, which would ultimately lead them back to none other than Jesus.

I pray that survivors won’t experience guilt, but that they will be filled with a new sense of purpose. That they would take that purpose and run with it without allowing the enemy to hinder their potential.

I pray that in the middle of the night, in the midst of nightmares and flashbacks, when the weight of what has happened feels unbearable, that our God would be faithful to deliver and sustain. That they would call upon the name of Jesus and He would be quick to rescue them.

I pray Proverbs 3:24-26 over them fervently.

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”

As reluctant as I am, Matthew 5:43-44 keeps popping into my head.

“You have heard that it was said ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

I pray that the people of Parkland would find the strength and courage to pray for their persecutors.

To my brothers and sisters in Christ: rise up. Cast your burdens to Him and continue to pray passionately for our neighbors.

To the people of Parkland: we are for you and we will continue to cover you in prayer.

Cover Image Credit: Madeline Gibson

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The Importance Of Black History Month Shouldn't Be Shoved To The Side

"The time is always right to do what is right." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

February is Black History Month, which means it’s time to honor and celebrate the many accomplishments made by the African American leaders that have come before us.

Growing up, I never understood the meaning of Black History Month. I thought it was a month where we just constantly talked about the civil rights movement or other historical events that took place in our history.

Now that I’m older, I finally have a better understanding of this month, and I think it’s very important to share. We, as a society, have come so far over the last 30 years. While we still have a long way to go, I think it’s important to celebrate where we are and the strides we’ve made.

The story of Black History Month began in 1915, but since 1976 every president has acknowledged February as the month to celebrate African American achievements.

There were many historical figures that helped get us to where we are today. Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many more spoke up for African Americans during a time when many did not want to.

It is because of them that we have the freedoms and liberties that we do today.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked about unity and not letting race divide us when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. He said:

“In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

I think the common misconception about Black History Month is that people think it’s boring or unimportant to talk about. The truth is, without these leaders standing up and fighting for equality, we wouldn’t have a lot of the rights that we do today.

Black history is a part of American history.

I’m honored to be an African American able to share the love for diversity that Dr. King and other historical figures wanted.

It’s important that we remember that no matter where we come from, at the end of the day, we are all human. We have to respect and love one another.

Know your history, and remember that we are one!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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