FOUR DAYS ON AMERICA: July 1, 2023.
I still think the United States is a great place because of these words:
“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 understand that the man who wrote those words, Thomas Jefferson, was an 18th century man who owned over 600 slaves and even maintained a relationship with one, Sally Hemings, with whom he fathered six children. He even held those children as slaves, too!
Isn’t it strange that “old Tom” could write those words about liberty and at the same time own other people as slaves? It seems that despite what he did as a farmer and businessman, somewhere in his heart there was wisdom.
So there are some contradictions here. I am not here to resolve the contradictions of Thomas Jefferson’s life. And I don’t think we should bother arguing those contradictions.
I am here to talk about the words upon which our country is based, and THOSE WORDS mean a lot to me and I will stand by them. We are still trying to live up to those words. Equality and Justice are still not 100% present for all Americans, and so I will support all efforts to make them real for my children and grandchildren.
But it is the WORDS that are important — “all men (people) are created equal” —because they can serve as the keel that keeps our boat straight on course. Happy Birthday, America!
And just in case you are still confused, you could live in a country where there is no such document that says “all men are created equal.” Or even worse, you could live in a place where you get arrested if you say something negative about its leadership. Think about that.
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