I sometimes think the Bill of Rights is a test of character for the country. It’s as if the Founding Fathers said, “Okay, America, we’re going to give you all of these rights; let’s see how you handle them.”
There have been times when we have risen to them and proven ourselves worthy: when equal rights for all truly does mean real equality, not separate but equal or equal only for white Christians. And there have been times when we have failed them: internment for citizens who immigrated from a place we’re currently hating or the idea that because some see one amendment as thoroughly inviolable we have to accede to their fetishism as the way things must be.
It is serendipitous that as we recover from the shock and horror of the massacre in Orlando we saw a celebration of a musical that honored Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers. It’s a civics lesson through hip-hop, and while some may find it incongruous to see 18th century characters rapping about starting a country, it reminds us that we are forever being challenged on how we answer to those who set us on our way.