Ultimately my point is somewhat moot. What I believe humanity needs is something we can not obtain. I believe it is beyond our mental ability. How in the world the founders of the U.S. managed to craft our constitution is a mystery to me. But wait... lets back up a little. Was the founding documents in their origional form really all that great? No.. otherwise we wouldn't have had to amend it 27 times. Slavery was a big whoopsiedaisy, as was the right to vote for non-property holders, women, etc. The 14th is pretty strong if the courts would ever uphold it to the letter, but that ain't never gonna happen.
Indeed it seems like the founders were human too, and prone to error and mistakes.
Many of the founders wanted to address the stuff like slavery, but knew they couldn't get the Constitution ratified if they did. They had the sense to build in the amendment process so it could be fixed over the centuries, because they new they and the document they had made were imperfect. And remember, the first 10 amendments are the Bill of Rights. They originally avoided enumerating rights, because they wanted too emphasize that rights did not come from government, but were natural and innate in the people "endowed by their Creator."
I read recently, that there were two more amendments that were drafted as part of the Bill of Rights, and one got ratified later, I believe as the 14th.
What I'm about to say is debatable, and I may be wrong, as there are two schools of thought on this. Even the experts are divided...
My understanding is the bill of rights only pertained to the federal governments handling of the states, and perhaps to a lesser extent the states' citizens. Consider the actual wording of the 1st amendment:
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.
The literal wording of this only applies to congress, it says nothing regarding the citizens of the various states. Thus, the states could create an official "state religion", and some basically did. Note that during the time the constitution was drafted, people's citizenship was identified with their state of residence, thus Benjamin Franklin would have been considered a Pennsylvanian first, George Washington would have been considered a Virginian.
Today, hardcore conservatives that want to push Christian theocracy like to point this out, they like to say this is the reason Tennessee should be allowed to have the bible as the official state book. 150 years ago they might have had a leg to stand on, but today, thanks to other amendments (that I'll get to in a minute), they would still run afoul of the modern constitution.
Enter the second amendment and the political roles reverse, anti-gun people like to hold to the literal wording, whereas conservatives take a more "liberal" approach, though I will admit in either case, the wording could be taken either way depending on the bias of the reader:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
I'm not well read on the second amendment. Some believe that this only applies to state militias, others believe that this amendment means anyone can bear arms. The wording is very interesting, because read literally, even undocumented people (what constituted an "undocumented person" anyway back before birth certificates and I.D.'s?) could legally own firearms. Note that the constitution does
differentiate between citizens and people, all citizens are people but not all people are citizens. When the U.S. was founded, we basically had open borders, but I digress. Further, at what line do we draw on "arms"? Does this only apply to single shot firearms, muskets, bows, knives, etc? Or does this mean that Joe Sixpack can legally own a nuclear warhead? Also interesting that "state militias" today are not often considered, as the largest weight of the American military comes from the five federal branches: Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce, and Coast Guard.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but it gets more complicated the further down the list you go until you get to the 10th,
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
And this is the amendment that some say rendered the bill of rights mostly useless to the ordinary state citizen, as it put them under the total jurisdiction and authority of their respective states, and it was up to those in the various states to decide how to run said state.
Fast forward to the 14th, and it [the amendment] fixed all of that. In my opinion the 14th is the strongest amendment in the entire document. Thanks to the 14th, Tennessee can not give special privilege to Christianity over other faiths. Thanks to the 14th, no state government system can deny a government document (like a license) to someone because they are homosexual. I.E. They can't say a homosexual can't obtain a marriage license on Christian grounds no more than they can deny a drivers license to a woman on Islamic grounds.
The Equality Amendment (proposed)
Is a waste of time, money, and effort. The 14th already covers this. If the supreme court won't hold to the letter of the 14th, why should they hold to the 28th, other than just a message from "the people" to say "no guys... we mean it, NO DISCRIMINATION!
"? It is redundant. as Carl would say "full stop".
However none of this matters in private, non government matters. If you read far enough back in my post, you'd find that I have changed my thoughts on this. Not long ago, I would have sworn a baker denying a cake to a gay couple would be unconstitutional, however, I was wrong. Don't get me wrong, it's still an asshole move, but illegal? No, and nor should it be.
Now I may be wrong on this, but I think how the federal government gets away with law like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is by holding states essentially hostage with funding. I suppose in theory a state could say that a private business
could legally not hire a black woman on those grounds alone, however once word of that got out, the fed would cut all federal funding... and no state wants that. In some twisted, ironic, way, this makes the I.R.S. somewhat of a hero of sorts, because their tax code is basically what puts money in the federal treasury's coffers.... well that at the reserves liberty to print money as needed...
Again, not sure about all of that. I got a clue on it back when Obama was president and one of the states (I can't remember which) tried to pull a stunt with trans-students and bathrooms, and Obama basically said "do this or no soup for you!"
All else fails... just withhold the $$$... gets 'em every time!
Whew... that's enough for now.. back to you Bob.