We were kindly given permission to post the following piece by author Tom Beech.
The idea of “a more perfect union,” in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States has has always rested on the principle of balance…balance of power among the three branches of the Federal Government, between the Federal Government and the States, between freedom, individual rights, interdependence and mutual responsibility.
Of late, it seems that we’ve lost sight of the importance of balance and in recent days, the proposed law passed by the Arizona State Legislature (mercifully vetoed by that State’s Governor) was at least for me, a stunning example of this. In the last few years our attention has been focused on the importance of “religious freedom,” the “right to bear arms,” the “rights of natural born citizens vs. those of immigrants,” the “rights of free enterprise.”
What has been lost in the furious debate about these freedoms, one of the founding tenants of our democracy, is that one person’s freedom cannot be expressed at the expense of another person. And we have developed amendments to the Constitution and a body of laws and regulations to safeguard this balance…balancing my freedom with yours. We have looked to government at the national, state and local levels to provide these safeguards.