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We the People

of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do establish and ordain this Constitution of the United States of America.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, and I went with my husband, dog and granddaughter to watch fireworks.  We had a traditional chicken dinner, and ice cream, and a good time was had by all, except the dog, who’s scared of fireworks.

And then I woke up this morning to see that Congress is not renewing unemployment benefits, and I thought how tired I am of the millionaires who “represent” us forcing the neediest in the country to tighten their belts.  Almost half the members of Congress are millionaires, many times over, and those whose net worth looks small on paper are actually hiding their assets, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  They get rich from investment opportunities, in companies like Goldman Sachs.

I’m also tired of the 2nd Amendment being the tail that wags the nation’s dog.  The Fourth Amendment, which is supposed to let us be secure in our persons against unreasonable search and seizure has been so decimated that it almost doesn’t exist.  The current Supreme Court has ruled that it’s okay for the cops to break down doors of people’s homes without checking to see that they’re at the right home because when they do make a mistake–as happens several hundred times a year–Tony Scalia explained that people have the right to sue the police.  We have warrantless wiretaps on our phones and Internet accounts.  We have warrantless entry into the homes of people on welfare, because they don’t count.  But all this doesn’t even merit a yawn from the public.  And the First Amendment is in tatters, too, with the wall between church and state sandpapered down so it’s about a micron wide these days.

I am tired of public figures ranting about God or Jesus or both, and ignoring Isaiah, who tells us that our duty is to “to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house and to cover the naked.”

I’m tired of ignoring the reality of handguns.  States that allow everyone to carry weapons have five times the homicide rate of those that don’t.  Now that the Supremes have ruled that states can’t control people’s access to them, let’s watch the murder rate rise.

And while I’m ranting about stuff I’m tired of, I’m tired of women not counting as people in the eyes of church and state.  When Sister Margaret McBride was excommunicated recently for her role in agreeing to an abortion for a woman whose life was endangered by her pregnancy, the sister was instantly excommunicated, and the church explained that “innocent life,” meaning fetal life, always trumps the mother’s life.  Congress triumphantly excluded abortion coverage from the health care reform act.  Women are messy, complicated creatures, it’s true, but why do we give men in the legislatures, the courts, and the church the right to choose life or death for us?

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