Monday, July 04, 2005

Let Freedom Ring

It's the Fourth. The red, white, and blue parade just passed by around the corner from my house. Many bike riders festooned with the colors, voluminous quantities of star spangled banners flying, politicians waving.

I am not a patriot, as the definitional patriot goes. I love my country, in that I love the land. I am devoted to the precepts under which the United States was founded. I don't necessarily support all of its authority and interests. Particularly when it abuses its authority or its interests seem more aligned with the current governing party rather than the People of the United States.

The knee-jerk and exclusionary patriotism of the Republican party is troubling, to say that least. You are only a patriot in 2005 if you support the War. You are only a patriot in 2005 if you support the President. Patriotism comes in only one stripe these days: Republicanism.

Tough. Today, it's my blog and I get to wave the flag my way.

Let freedom ring. The America I love took form under a remarkable Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (sic) 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. " What a fantastical notion on which to found a government.

Let freedom ring. The America I love lives under a remarkably sturdy Constitution that has serviced us well lo these hundreds of year. A Constitution that forms a government type that we can, in theory, be proud of. A Constitution that divides power into three branches, thus keeping power balanced and out of one person or parties hands.

Let freedom ring. The America I love lives under a Bill of Rights that separates church from state so that we can all worship (or not) freely, without fear of governmental influence or interference. A Bill of Rights that protects the innocent and the guilty. A Bill of Rights that supports a Free Press and my right to protest against the government. A Bill of Rights that ended slavery and began equal rights for all, regardless of color or gender.

Let freedom ring. The America I love wants freedom for all nations. It would not impose freedom through the violent "liberations" of war. It would not inflict freedom though the imposition of a governmental form that is essentially Western in nature on an Eastern country whose culture of which we know squat.

Let freedom ring. The America I love holds itself to the highest possible standard when dealing with prisoners of war and possible (even probable) terrorists. We would exceed Geneva Convention guidelines on torture. We would closely follow our own Constitution and Bill of Rights as we pursue justice.

Let freedom ring. The America I love cares deeply for others. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." We do not turn our backs on Dafur, Zimbabwe. We do not turn our backs on the West side of Chicago, LA, Washington D.C. We do not turn our backs on the elderly and take away their Social Security, the sick and provide them with no health care, the workers and gut their pension plans.

Let freedom ring. The America I love cherishes its natural beauty. "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. For purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain." We create National Parks. We preserve history. We do not gut forests, take over countries to feed our gas-guzzlers. We do not avoid joining the G8 Countries in a Kyoto-like global warming pact. We lead the world in conservation and preservation, not lead the world in destruction and selfishness.

Let freedom ring. The America I love is better than this current government. The America I love will rise up in 2008 and demand a moral leader. One who understands that morality is not the sole province of Conservative Christianity. One who understands and honors the principles under which our great nation was founded. One of whom I can be proud.

Until tomorrow,


Blogger Samsara said...

All I can say to that is, "Amen, Sister." Thank you, Liz. As ever, you say quite eloquently what I am feeling.

1:53 PM  

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