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continue to develop, there is a question that is at the forefront of law interpretation: is the Constitution “outdated?”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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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All Good Things Are Wild And Free, Right?

Free your soul and be happy.

The word 'free' can allude to many things. My mom always says that nothing is ever free. But what about your soul? Is it free? Does everyone have a free soul? I think that everyone has the potential to have a free soul but whether or not they decide to live that lifestyle is up to them.

Until recently, I never thought of myself as a free spirit, but I am. Although I didn’t begin with a free soul, I evolved into one. Life throws you trials and tribulations and it's meant for you to grow from these obstacles. And I have.

People always question me about my careless attitude. Careless meaning that I don’t care what others think. I never actually answer the question, but here’s the answer: once you figure out that you can’t make everyone happy by the decisions you make and start doing the things that make you happy is when you become free from others.

The phrase “damned if you, damned if you don’t” applies here perfectly. People will find something wrong with you and your life decisions no matter what you decide. There’s no way to make everyone happy, it's just not possible.

I don’t wake up in the mornings to please anyone but myself. To have a free soul you must do the things that make you and you alone happy.

Free souls are happy souls. Finding inner happiness takes time. It takes being at rock bottom to find your own happiness. Being happy within means that you don’t have to rely on anyone to be happy, and that’s how it should be.

When you give other people the privilege of holding the key to your happiness chances are they’ll fail you. Other people can contribute to your overall happiness but always remember who you are and put your happiness first because if you’re not happy with yourself then how do you expect to keep someone else happy?

Do you, boo. It’s so cheesy, I know, but it’s how to keep you and your soul free from others control. Live your life and live it like there’s no tomorrow. Don’t live your days full of worry, regret, and unhappiness. Do the things that are necessary for you to be happy, who cares what other people think. If you’re unhappy and they’re happy, how is this benefitting you? It’s not.

Be selfish. Be selfish with your happiness and your freedom.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. Once you figure out that your own happiness should come first that’s when you begin to be free. And just a hint, the people that you’re trying so hard to please and make happy, don’t care about your happiness. So why should you care about theirs?

If you want to be free, then do you. Do the things that make you happy, stop caring about what others think. Find that inner happiness that is guaranteed every day, because it’s your own.

Cover Image Credit: Kallee Gambrel

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