The Constitution is a living, breathing document that has provided the citizens of the United States of America the ability to provide the most fair government possible and through the auspices of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence the framework has been laid.
The Constitution itself lays out the perfect form of government the world has ever seen, and the Bill of Rights guarantees our fundamental and most sacred rights. Too often the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are called obsolete, or being accused of being too broadly interpreted and subsequently the document is under fire almost daily. I believe the closest argument I have ever heard about the interpretation of the Constitution can be summed up quite simply; if your parent tells you that you have to pick up your bedroom or you cannot have dessert that is exactly what they mean, and what they just said cannot be stretched in an attempt to make what was said closer to what YOU want.
I've struggled myself in the past with many issues pertaining to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and simply put it is worrying and bothersome that quite often those rights provided by both are stretched to fit the interpretation of someone else. The framework of this country is designed to provide equal rights to all of us and in stretching the truth of said documents to fit ones own agenda is not only wrong, its dangerous.
Here's my case in point, the FIRST Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, however all too often people want to restrict what others can say if it fits their needs. When the PMRC and its ilk first stepped foot into the limelight that they so desired, musicians everywhere were threatened because the PMRC and groups similar to themselves wanted to determine what the consumer could hear and who could buy it. Granted, some of the lyrics as well as the subject matter that many artists created were very troublesome but for me to determine that no one should hear "Me So Horny" or who can and cannot read Madonna's book "Sex" is unjust.
During that time, there were Congressional hearings and news coverage of this "hot button" topic and the cries to ban the lyrics made me sick. I am a white, conservative Christian and despite my personal beliefs regarding something that was said I had no right to force my beliefs on anyone but myself. I'm a parent, I have two great kids, they're both smart, funny and really have similar tastes in music as I, but as a parent I do have to determine what my children can and can't see/ hear but I cannot tell you what your kids can / can't see or hear.
Its reprehensible to think that just because one, two or 4000 people for that matter can tell an artist or activist for that matter what they are allowed to do, they have a guaranteed right to do so regardless of what someone else thinks. I could continue expounding the personal rights and freedoms for any of the items with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights but this is a music blog, who knows maybe I'll start a political blog one day but for today, I digress. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury think about how important the rights of any civil rights activist were and how they had to fight tooth and nail for every single thing that they have today (despite the attempts and unfortunately all too often successes to repress those rights in the first place) and know this one thing, it all trickles down to each and every one of us.
Whether you like the fact that a hate group can blast the internet with its pap, or you think that Cosmopolitan magazine shouldn't have the word "sex" on its cover, those rights are protected under the umbrella of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The next time you hear (or the next time you think) that lyrics are too dirty, or too violent, understand and remind yourself that the importance of the right for them to say those things is in reality the same as your being able to say that you don't like CNN, or the President.
On this (now the 5th of July) day, take a few moments thank your lucky stars that you live in the United States (its about the Constitution, etc so I really can say that about Americans sorry), that men and women died to insure that you, and every other citizen has the right to exercise their freedom of speech. While you have the right to say you don't like an idea, thought, book, lyric, drawing, picture, etc., so does every other citizen of the United States of America.
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.