Thursday, 10 June 2010

That Pesky Constitution

Written by  Kelly Taylor Holt

Fox News (June 9) reported that small publisher Wilder Publications has taken political correctness to the extreme with its disclaimer about America’s founding documents that is printed in Wilder's copies of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers and Common Sense.

The disclaimer says, in part:

This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.

Fox reported that Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, says the company may be trying to ensure that oversensitive people don't pull its works off bookstore or library shelves. The latest brouhaha in the “Constitution is a living document” conflict may backfire on the publisher, making sure that, indeed, buyers won’t be doing that very thing.

Incredibly, the though the disclaimer states, “Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work,” until recently, the nearly perfect Constitution was rightfully held to hold timeless truths of freedom, character, morality, checks and balances, and limited government. And the last time I read it, it didn’t have much to say about race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity. And what it did have to say about interpersonal relations was that they are protected under the laws of God and man. What’s old-fashioned about all that? 

Ironically, the disclaimer ends with the ubiquitous “All rights reserved” phrase protected by the same "outdated" Constitution.

The argument that the Constitution is a living document is a concoction of the "situation ethics" school of thought. Logic and common sense know that when something is wrong, it’s always wrong, and not subject to the circumstances of the situation. That usually means someone is looking for an excuse to do something they know is wrong under any other set of rules. If everybody gets to live by their own sets of rules, determined by their own situations, then complete chaos is not far behind.

The Fox report stated that Amazon.com customer reviews show an overwhelming number speaking out against the disclaimer, describing it as “insulting,” “sickening,” and “frankly horrifying,” and end with the same thought: Don’t buy from this publisher.

The U.S. Constitution Protects Wilder Publishing’s right to print whatever it wants, and your right to object. Use it while you still have it.
 

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