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Voice of the People

Feb. 08, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

Founding Fathers were also liberals

I share the admiration for the Constitution expressed Dec. 20 by a contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page. Unfortunately, from paragraph 2 onward, the writer regresses, transitioning his reasonable thought into his predictable liberal bashing.

His attack on progressives, because they "seek" "fundamental change," shows how little he understands the Founding Fathers. Who does he think the Revolutionaries were? They were the ones who wanted to fundamentally change the system: rabble-rousers, progressives, Enlightenment liberals, a smuggler or two, and countless common folk who took the liberal, even radical, concept "that all men are created equal" to heart.

Where were the conservatives during the Revolution? They supported the status quo -- tradition, social stability and established institutions -- in other words, the British and King George III.

There is no doubt that most of the men at the Convention in 1787 were men of faith, but they were there seeking "fundamental change" in the current government. Practically the only thing most of them agreed on was that the Articles of Confederation didn't work. But despite their faith, or perhaps because of it, they kept their religion separate from the new constitution. After several weeks of bickering and fruitless discussion Benjamin Franklin, arguably the most progressive and cosmopolitan of the attendees, called for a daily prayer in the chamber, perhaps hoping the divine blessings would succeed where debate had not. His motion did not pass.

Far from using personal religious beliefs to influence the Convention, their personal political beliefs and those of the states they represented drove the course of the debate. The most significant mention of religion in the Constitution, found in paragraph 3 of Article VI, simply reads, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust in the United States."

Merlyn Marten

Proctorville, Ohio

'Blackout' planned for Feb. 16 game

I am a student at Marshall University, member of the Marshall Maniacs and an avid Marshall fan. I'm trying to organize a "blackout" for the Feb. 16 basketball game against the Memphis Tigers. I'm urging all fans who attend that game to wear black and support this plan.

The players and students love the idea, but we need everyone involved for it to work. Please come out to the Cam Henderson Center at 8 p.m. on Feb. 16, wear black, and cheer loud. Go Herd!

James Cooper




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