Does this make you think differently of the Bill of Rights?

Perhaps a little bit of role playing, but does doing the following change the way you view the Bill of Rights?

Imagine two groups in front of you, One group is the People, the other group is Government.

Now read the Bill of Rights out loud (including this portion of the Preamble), as if you are talking to a subordinate, strongly, firmly, with resolve, and answer the questions that follow. (If you want, read only the first 3 or 4, the same idea follows for the remainder)

– – Read from here – – –
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Amendment I
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.

Amendment II
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.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures , shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue , but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
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.

– – – End of read – – –

Which group is the Bill of Rights talking to?

Is one group talking to the other?

Does this change the way you think of the Bill of Rights?

10 Responses to “Does this make you think differently of the Bill of Rights?”

  1. Vivii Anna Says:

    The Bill of Rights is limiting the govt, not limiting the people. It is aimed at the govt, telling the
    govt that it cannot infringe upon the individual rights contained in the Bill of Rights.
    I always understood the meaning. It is limiting the power of the govt at all levels.

  2. Stay thirsty my friends Says:


  3. Islam Delenda Est - Crybaby Says:


    I use logic instead of emotion.

  4. R Says:

    False dichotomy. As WE are the government, there is only a single group of folks in front of you…

  5. itsamini1 Says:

    The Bill of Rights purpose is to limit the power of government and protect the people from the government.

  6. Bud Says:

    It is very clearly limiting the authority of the federal government. These are the guidelines being drawn to keep people free from oppression by the government. It sounds to me like the people telling the government whats kosher and whats not.

  7. ducky aka Mr Duck Says:

    No, of course not

    why ?
    because I understand what this phrase means…

    "Government of the people, by the people and for the people"

  8. sci Says:

    No, It has always been my voice to the government. It is my constitution, not the governments.

    The Constitution is the set of permissions and restrictions given, by the people, to the arms of government to form.

    Old Guy

  9. Steele grave Says:

    The Bill of Rights establishes what the government can and can’t do, period. It doesn’t confer rights to the citizenry as it is already established that those rights are granted and unalienable.

    My understanding of the Constitution changed about 10 years ago probably when I first actually read the document.

  10. Hockey is greater than Basketball Says:

    Excellent Civics question!

    As a note for one, the government is MADE up by the people, and acts as the peoples Representatives, it IS NOT the people, that would be a Democracy, we are a Republic. Government is different from the people, that government is given the power of Law, the People elect or otherwise have chosen people for that position, but do not express that right directly themselves, this is what separates Government from the People. Because the Government has the power of Law, limits need to be set on that Law, by Law that is what a Constitution does.

    The Bill of Rights is speaking AT Government, telling them what ELSE they may not do. It seems as if the people are speaking to Government. The Bill of Rights is not speaking directly to the people, but about the people, to government.