In this week’s edition of The Courier-Gazette, you will find a printed copy of the Constitution of United States of America. The Constitution and its Amendments are the cornerstone of our democracy, and its meaning is often debated in the halls of Congress and within the courts. With election season upon us, it seemed like an appropriate time to share the full text with our readers.

Many of the freedoms we all enjoy originate from this document including free speech, the separation of church and state, the right to bear arms, how elections are run, and of course my personal favorite, freedom of the press. These rights, and others contained within, are often debated amongst our fellow citizens, the lawmakers we elect and the judges who interpret the writings. This week, I wanted to share the full, true text as it was written many years ago, in its truest form, print, the very medium the Constitution on which was built.

Sept. 17 to 23 is Constitution Week, with the purpose of encouraging the citizens of this country to learn about the Constitution and the events that led to its framing in September of 1787 within the context of history. I encourage all our readers to take a moment and read the Constitution in its entirety; it is worth the few minutes it will take.

And please remember: politicians, political parties and special interest groups inundate us with their often-distorted interpretation of the Constitution to push an agenda that benefits them directly. The best way to combat this is to read the document yourself, come to your own conclusion and seek out others who might have a conflicting point of view. In this world of social media, it’s too easy to only surround yourself with like-minded people. Let someone challenge your viewpoint. You’ll be better for it and maybe even learn something.

Take a moment this week to enjoy the gift of freedom we were all blessed with many years ago, all the people of this great country. No matter their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. The Constitution and its freedoms are for all, not some. Anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong and hasn’t taken the time to read the Constitution fully.

Chris Crockett, Publisher
The Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Courier-Gazette, Republican Journal, Camden Herald and The Free Press