Retired attorney to parse U.S. Constitution

Ruth Davis

Ruth Davis will go anywhere to talk about the U.S. Constitution. Anywhere that people will listen, says the retired attorney, former public school teacher and counselor. Her next stop to discuss “The U.S. Project: In Our Words” will be Temple Emanu-El on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m., the second in a two-part program sponsored by Temple’s Women of Reform Judaism.

“I became very concerned with the lack of knowledge people have about what our founding documents actually say, not what someone says they say,” she told the AJP. “I’ve given talks to a broad range of folks — with people who support the Tea Party to moveon.org — in the same room.”

In the United States today, she says, we have a lack of effective communication “because people may be using the same words to mean different things.”

Davis hopes to encourage people “to look at the language, not our socio-political opinions” in an exploration of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the subsequent 17 amendments and the Declaration of Independence. “We’re out in the outfield but we haven’t agreed on the basis of these documents. What I’m doing,” she says, “is step 1” by getting groups to read together the actual words.

“For example, the word ‘God’ doesn’t appear in any of our founding documents but the word ‘religion’ does. These folks were very intelligent people,” affirms Davis. “They knew what they were doing. Why did they do that? That’s the kind of discussion we want to have.”

The program is free. For more information, call 327-4501.