Here are the instructions for today's introduction:
Please take a moment to introduce yourself to your classmates, noting your academic, professional, and personal goals, and any other information you might want to share. Also, read the U.S. Constitution and watch the film Citizenship and Civic Responsibilities. Then respond to one of the following questions:
What passages from the Constitution do you find most surprising? Which passages did you have trouble comprehending? Was there anything you thought would be included in the Constitution but were surprised to find was not there?
Citing specific passages from the Constitution, identify how the Constitution affects you in your day-to-day life. Why is it important for citizens to be familiar with the Constitution (or not)? What aspects of the Constitution do you think many people today fail to understand or appreciate?
Here is my response, by the time I was finished I had over 1,000 words:
My name is Vickie; I'm a 57 year old wife, mother of 3, and grandmother to 7, living in the Fayetteville, NC area.
I have been out of school for over 35 years and recently decided to return to the academic world in an effort to become more than just a HS graduate who has more life experience, but not enough education to advance in the workplace. I am currently unemployed with over 25 years in the retail field, 20 of those years in retail management.
I have chosen the field of Complementary and Alternate Health for my Bachelor’s Degree with a minor in Entrepreneurship. In August I will begin my third year here at Ashford and can see graduation just over the horizon. I hope to ultimately use my education to own and operate my own Wellness Center, where I can offer options to traditional western medical practices and incorporate not only alternate health practices, but also include the ingredients our clients may require to continue their wellness program in the comfort of their home.
What passages from the Constitution do you find most surprising?
Article 3 Section 3 states: Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. Many of the members of Congress have openly stated that Edward Snowden, the former employee of the NSA is guilty of treason for his part in leaking the information regarding the NSA’s ability to collect information on the average American citizen. As far as I understand the situation, Mr. Snowden has not levied war against the U.S., nor has he given aid or comfort to our enemies. He made public information on a policy and procedure for the NSA to use surveillance that was approved by former president George Bush.
Which passages did you have trouble comprehending?
Amendment 12 gives me a bit of trouble. I do not understand the need for the Electoral College for determining who is elected president. As Americans have the right to vote, I believe we the people should determine the outcome of the election.
Was there anything you thought would be included in the Constitution but were surprised to find was not there?
At this time I believe everything I can think of is covered in the Constitution.
Citing specific passages from the Constitution identify how the Constitution affects you in your day-to-day life.
On a daily basis I have discussions regarding the aspects found in the Frist Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Freedom of religion means freedom for EVERY religion. The United States was NOT formed as a Christian nation, and many of our founding fathers were among those who fled England and Europe in order to escape from religious persecution.
The Fourteenth Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” I believe this means every citizen is guaranteed the same rights and liberties as anyone else, including those in same sex relationships. A marriage license is a legal contract obtained from a county courthouse. As a legal document every person, regardless of sexual orientation in entitled to the same rights and privileges as everyone else. A wedding ceremony is performed by a member of the clergy and if your religion or clergy member doesn’t agree with same sex marriages, you don’t need to attend or participate in their marriage or wedding ceremony.
Why is it important for citizens to be familiar with the Constitution (or not)?
I believe it is important for every American citizen to be familiar with the Constitution in order to understand exactly what their rights are as a citizen. Many times I hear people quoting the Constitution for various reasons and these same people have no idea what they are actually spouting. If you want to claim freedom of religion, then make sure you understand freedom of religion means freedom for every religion, not just your Christian point of view.
What aspects of the Constitution do you think many people today fail to understand or appreciate?
I believe many people do not understand the Second Amendment. While I fully support each person’s right to bear arms, I disagree with what we are being told in today’s world. The Second Amendment was put in place to allow the U.S. citizens the ability to assist the militia. With five branches of a fully armed military, we no longer live in a time when the average Joe needs to be prepared to take up arms against the enemy. Again, I support the right for the average American to own weapons; however I do NOT believe anyone other than the trained military should have a personal automatic weapon. There are too many people today who listen to and feed into the doom and gloom and conspiracy theories the NRA and even some politicians are bellowing. Have your shotguns, rifles and handguns; go through the appropriate background checks to obtain them. Yes I am aware background checks won’t keep criminals from getting weapons, but you won’t convince me you NEED an assault rifle or any weapon with a multi round magazine.
Reference: Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library, The Avalon Project Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy, The U.S. Constitution, retrieved on June 18, 2013, from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/usconst.asp
Lets see how much shit I've stirred with this one, LOL!!