Updated: Oct 17
On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States of America passed the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights. In congruence with our celebration of the Constitution, at last week's devotional, our middle schools students told us the story of Bill of Rights as connected to the Declaration of Independence.
The Story of the Bill of Rights
by Jared Carman
Head of School
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed on behalf of the people of the thirteen united colonies of America. Eleven years later, in September 1787, the US Constitution was signed, on behalf of the United States of America. Two years later, on September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States of America passed the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
The Declaration of Independence asserts that human beings are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, meaning, rights that cannot be denied or taken away. The Declaration gives examples of these natural, God-given rights: the rights to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
Having been under the tyranny of King George, the colonists knew that our natural rights needed to be secured, and that this is the purpose of government. They wrote in the Declaration: “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
This, then, is the connection:
The Declaration of Independence asserts the existence of our natural, God-given rights, while the US Constitution, secures our natural rights. The Bill of Rights details specific rights protected by the Constitution. We call these civil rights, because they are written down and part of government. The Bill of Rights also assures that all other powers not specifically given
the US government in the Constitution, are reserved to the states or to the people.
Our Founding Fathers bravely acted to both declare and secure our natural rights. The conclusion of the Declaration reads: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our
sacred Honor. "As recipients of these blessings, may we live our lives in the same
manner, recognizing where our liberty comes from, and acting to preserve it for ourselves and for future generations."
This historical thought was delivered by our middle school students at devotional on 9/28/23. Each week one class leads the student body in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.
Belmont is an independent K-12 school in the classical, Christian tradition. In partnership with parents, we invest in students — helping them acquire an education of the highest quality, find joy in life, and become influences for good in the world. If you are interested in receiving updates about Belmont, please subscribe to Exulto here by inserting your email.