The declaration of independence inserts itself into all things today, so why not bring it up again here (for a transcript).
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I believe these rights to refer to ALL people, inclusive of race, religion, gender, abilities or dis-abilities.
The first part, that often gets left out when people try to quote from their grade-school memory banks, contains one of my favorite phrases:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
“Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”.
Note that this does not say “Christian” god, or “Jesus”, or refer in any way to the bible, new or old testament. Although the “Founders” of our nation came from a christian tradition, their writings did not refer to christianity above all other religions.
The “laws of nature”: sounds a bit like science to me.
“Nature’s God”: could be any god at all, including pagan.
Our forefathers came to these shores to remove themselves from a society that was rigid and stultified. They were often persecuted and their lives were in danger because of their beliefs or lack of beliefs. Like the immigrants that came later, they were fleeing to a new land of Freedom and Liberty.
There were some initial attempts at recreating England here in the colonies. Religious liberty was curtailed in Boston forcing free thinkers like Roger Williams to move on to Rhode Island to start again. By the time of the Revolution, thirteen colonies existed with separate laws and currencies, and, separate religious affiliations, and yet, a common goal: to be free of the old ways and move on.
So I say: “Revolt!” Leave the old ways, the old thinking, and move forward. The time for revolution is now! Join your compatriots in making a place for everyone in this new century. The old laws that discriminate against race and gender, that prohibit, that protect hate, that keep society divided, that breed fear and distrust; those old ways of living and thinking are behind us and we will move forward into century that aspires to fairness and freedom for all of our members.
By the way, in case you are thinking I belong with the idealists and dreamers, those who romanticize “revolution” in all it’s forms. I am fully aware that no revolutions have solved all the problems that they were meant to, even ours.
I leave soon for Russia, to visit the place where my husband has worked for twenty plus years (while I have been caring for our lovely Lily). Certainly the Russian people’s attempt at change via revolution has not been as successful as they had planned, nor has their re-entry into global capitalism been smooth.
Americans forget that we revolted at a time when Europe was in turmoil and the age of enlightenment encouraged many philosophers and intellectuals to reconsider how nations could be organized to better allow the rights of all peoples. Even Catherine the Great, Empress of all the Russias at the time, was a devotee of these new ideas. She could not find a way to bring her country out of slavery and serfdom in her life time and it took a violent and bloody revolution, like that of France and over a hundred years later, to finally free the serfs.
So I am not advocating bloody revolution and Molotov cocktails,
But people, think about it. What is wrong with letting people live their own lives in peace?
So here’s to a peaceful revolution in our time…
We will search for a new way to move forward towards a more just world here in the great USA.