I practically cried when I read the statistics below. Seriously. It struck a fear in my heart, let me tell you. If people don't know their basic rights as Americans, it's no wonder they are being violated.
“Perhaps one reason so many [Americans] are not fearful of, or would even invite, government limits on the five freedoms is that so few of us can even name them.
“The survey found again this year that just 3 percent of those questioned could name ‘petition’ as one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment. Only ‘speech’ was named by a majority of respondents, 56 percent. Less than 20 percent named religion (15 percent), press (15 percent) or assembly (14 percent). . . . 4 in 10 could not name any freedom--the highest such result in the survey’s history.
“[These are] ‘inalienable’ rights for all, indeed—but in today’s United States, rights that are unknown, unnamed, or even undefended, by many.”
It's worth spreading around. We need to spend more time celebrating the rights we have, instead of letting the fear of terrorists be the rule of law. We need to let the celebration of our rights be a stronger component of our culture, something we refer to and remember often. It's appalling to me how the fundamental rights given to us by our country are being chipped away at.
Can your kids imagine a world without these rights? Can we? Teaching them once every couple years in history class won't work. They need to be something we refer to often.
Once our respect and remembrance for our rights are gone, what will we, as Americans, have to be proud of? Worse, can we imagine the sort of life our children will have without these rights?
If we forget the value of our basic rights and freedoms as Americans, we doom our children and grandchildren to learn their value the hard way. We doom them to learn their value at the cost already paid by the founders of our country.
It's not too high a price for our freedoms; it's too high a price for forgetting the value of what we have, for forgetting the the sacrifices those before us have made for our freedoms.
And after we remind ourselves, we need to remind our politicians. Often.