JANINE TURNER: Hear the Thunder

Did you hear the thunder yesterday? It was a distinctly American thunder. It was loud and proud and powerful. It was our founding fathers clapping from heaven as our representatives in the United States House read the United States Constitution. It was the first time the Constitution had been read aloud in Congress.

History was made and yet, it is astonishing to reflect upon the fact that it has taken 224 years to recite such an important document that is the heartbeat of our Republic.

The Constitution is a national treasure whose glitter gleans the pathway and construct of our national pursuits, laws and way of governing. All that glitters is not gold, however, and thrown into the pearls of wisdom were stones that had to be refined and amended. The brilliance of our Constitutional forefathers, who believed in the genius of the people, was that they left ways to refine these rocks creating the cement that binds the clauses we so readily reference today.

As the House members solemnly rose and strode to the podium to recite their portion of the Constitution, a national moment, a Patriot’s pause pulsed through America. -- Perched upon the clouds above us were Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington whose sighs of relief blew whispers of encouragement.

The silence was broken only by the gavel of the presiding officer calling order to the House because a heckler was harassing members during a moment of reverence.

Many who disapproved of the reading of the Constitution parlayed this singular outburst on the floor into a collective Conservative, Tea Party comment on President Obama’s citizenship. The outcry, “Except Obama,” occurred during the reading Article 11, Section 1, paragraph 5 which states that no person but a natural born citizen shall be eligible to be president of the United States.

This opportunistic twist, by the liberal elite, of a non-event is nonsense. Firstly, one person’s perspective does not quantify the Republican or Tea Party stance. Secondly, this historic moment of reading the Constitution was not about President Obama or any President, for that matter. It was about the United States, the citizens of the United States and the preservation of our Republic. A President’s four or eight year term pales in comparison to the legacy of the 224 year old document which keeps Presidents and civil servants in their respective places, their egos and power in check.

The cries from the left that the reading of the United States Constitution was a “publicity stunt,” bring forth the words of Shakespeare, “[The Lady] doth protest too much, methinks.” Behind these protests are hidden the rants of children whose forbidden play station has been exposed. Boundaries must be given to children just as limits must be placed upon our governing bodies. Light always engulfs darkness and the beckon of light emanating from the Constitution exposes how the path of progressivism, and the ways of big government, are not only crippling the American dream but binding the sovereignty of the states. They are straying dangerously from the fundamental principles that have kept our Republic alive, thriving and safe.

Critics who say they disagree with the United States Constitution are not without options. They can either move to another country or they may start a movement to amend those aspects of the Constitution they deem unworthy or antiquated.

To those who say that the Constitution was founded on hypocrisy, they need only to read the Constitution in its entirety and study the works of both our founding fathers and their respective voluminous biographies to understand the confines of their constructs.

Our constitutional forefathers built an ingenious unifying structure of governing that would both propel and propagate human aspirations and safeguard them from encroachments upon such liberties. No one ever said America, was perfect, only that she, through the providential hand of God, offered the platform from which hope for mankind, dignity for the human soul and ingenuity of the human intellect could soar.

The reading of the United States Constitution on the House floor was a uniquely American event, though our Constitution has been the cornerstone for many other countries’ Constitutions. As patriots paused and reflected upon what keeps us honest, we are reinvigorated with the recognition that our work is only beginning.

We must start Patriot Clubs and continue to light the torch of enlightenment.

Yesterday, for a moment, as we basked in the rising sun that is represented in our venerable document, our founding fathers thundered their approval. Hear the thunder.

Actress Janine Turner is founder and co-chairwoman of “Constituting America.” For more, visit