Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Today, we here in the United States celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I'd bet a lot of Americans have never read the document even though it isn't long, but I'm sure every American knows the second line, though they might not know it is the second line: "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."

We aren't really celebrating our separation from the British monarchy but freedom and what that verse says. What it doesn't say is that some of us really are more free than others. People of color, homosexuals, and those with disabilities are not free to be considered equals and are not given the rights that the declaration claims that they are endowed with. There is no life if one's parents abort when they discover you have a disability, and I'm sure if there was a genetic test for homosexuality the abortion rate for that would be high also. There is no liberty when an individual is blocked by others from buying property for one of these traits. There is no pursuit of happiness when you don't have the freedom to love or have a family or to have to deal with the fact that people use words that are used or were used to describe these attributes as an insult.

I hope on this day of freedom that you think about those not as fortunate in receiving the freedoms they deserve and have a basic right to experience, and if you are presented with a situation to help us move towards an America where people of a slightly different skin tone, those with an attraction to people of the same gender, and those that are differently-abled that you will choose the path that helps them to feel the equality that the rest take so much for granted.

1 comment:

  1. I wholly agree. This is well-stated - thanks for the thoughtful post!