The Bill of Rights
“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”
–Preamble to the Bill of Rights 
You have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press.
You have the right to bear arms.
You have the right to refuse to house a solider.
You have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
You have the right to not incriminate yourself.
You have the right to defend yourself.
You have the right to have interpersonal conflicts resolved according to law.
You have the right to be free from excessive bail and fines.
The people, citizens, cannot have their rights removed by law.
The state governments of these United States hold rights that the federal government cannot take away. 
Being the parent of older kids means that I have been outpaced as their resource for help with most homework. My algebra skills are outdated; chemistry and I weren’t good friends the first time around. However, I am still the go-to when a paper needs to be edited or when memorization is required.
Not long ago, I helped my daughter memorize the Bill of Rights for her government class so that she could deliver them verbatim to her teacher. As we worked on that together, we started talking about what each amendment really guaranteed a citizen and why it might have mattered to the writers of our constitution.
The rights were expressly stated in this way because the citizens of the newly formed USA remembered only too well what if felt like to have no rights under a king who was far away and exercised ultimate, controlling authority over their very lives. Citizens wanted to be protected from such an abuse of power.
How does my understanding of myself as an American citizen with these guaranteed rights inform my view of gospel living? Do these rights also apply to citizens of heaven? I looked to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and the parables of Jesus in Luke for Jesus’s explanation of life as his follower, and I offer the following bill of rights for the citizens of heaven.
THE King of Heaven, having walked this earth with his own feet, expressed a desire, in order to lay down power as an act of humility, that his followers also surrender power in the following specific ways rather than hold it over another in order to increase confidence in the validity of their claims to faith.
You have the right to say anything that expresses your love for God, self, and neighbor, for out of the mouth, the heart speaks.
You have the right to turn the other cheek when you are threatened.
You have the right to offer radical hospitality.
You have the right to share all that you have.
You have the right to declare the goodness of God.
You have the right to promote another’s welfare over your own.
You have the right to listen to other’s perspectives.
You have the right to give generously.
You have the right to see that every human being is beloved.
You have the right to establish the church as a practice arena for these rights.
 Here I offer a summary of our Bill of Rights in my own words. The original, official wording can be found on the website linked above.