Posts Tagged ‘created equal’

So get this.  An angry mob is trying to deprive a minority group of their constitutional rights.  Can you believe it? Apparently, in an effort to find an issue on which they can campaign and raise money and viewership, a groups of political and media opportunists have whipped a local zoning issue in New York into a national frenzy.

All I can say is: “Welcome to my world!”

Monday, over 3 million Californians once again had their civil rights suspended.  But the news on every front page and network is that a religious group wants to build a community center and the Foxpulicans need an issue to run on since they haven’t done or stood up for anything decent in the last ten years.

It kind of kills me that no one sees or mentions the correlation.  It’s really the same issue.  The majority, whatever their feelings, does not get to deprive the minority of the rights that the majority enjoys.  That’s what the constitution guarantees.  It’s really the whole ball game as far as the founding principles of the country goes.  Taking away people’s rights is as anti-American as it gets.

My point is, when you let it happen to gay people, then it can happen to you.

So now it’s Muslims.  Who’s next? Catholics have gotten a lot of bad press here lately.  Maybe a majority will rise up and not want Catholic Churches in their neighborhoods or to allow Catholics the same rights to marry and raise children as everyone else.  If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

Everyone is a member of a minority.

What if we start rounding up Republicans and putting them in concentration camps? They don’t believe the same things as the majority of Americans, so why not?

Because we’re all in this together, that’s why.  If I don’t stick up for your rights, then who will stick up for mine?

I was pleased that the President sorta-kinda-almost stood up for something there for a minute.  He said that Muslim Americans were entitled to the same civil rights as all Americans before he kinda-sorta took it back.  But if he really believes that, where the hell has he been on Prop H8 and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? What happened to repealing DOMA?

It isn’t a question of whether or not you believe that gay people should be able to get married or Catholics should be allowed to practice their faith openly or that Republicans should be free to move about the country.

The ONLY questions is:  Do you believe in equal rights for all Americans?

That’s it.  The people who don’t want the Muslim Community Center and the ones supporting Prop H8 do not believe in equal rights for all Americans.  They are Anti-American.  Let’s start painting them with that brush.  Let’s get away a from the politics of division and find something we can all agree on.

I believe in equal rights for all Americans.  Do you?

I think it’s a simple question and I think it’s time we started asking it of all these hate and fear mongers who’ve been doing all they can to get out the bigot vote, raise money and build ratings.

If we expect to start finding some answers, we have got to stop asking the wrong questions.  Do you believe in abortion? Do you believe in gay marriage? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you think the one true god is Allah and Mohammed is his prophet? Because the answer to all those questions is the same.  Who cares? Good for you.  This is America, you get to believe whatever you want and so do I.

The question that unites us and the one we ought to start asking these pundits and politicians who seek to divide us is:

Do you believe in equal rights for all Americans?

Honestly? I think we all do.  I just think in all the noise and confusion of this media fueled, soulless age of cynicism in which we live we’ve forgotten the only question that matters.

And it’s a tough question.

If you believe in equal rights for all American you believe in the Muslim Community Center.  You believe that gay people have a right to marry even if you disagree with their choice.  It means you believe that Catholics and Mormons can refuse to marry gay people in their churches.  It means that the Nazis and the KKK can believe whatever it is that they believe.  It means that even if you don’t believe as I do that you don’t get to tell me what to believe.  That is equal rights for all Americans.

And if you don’t believe in that, then you don’t really believe in America.

Let’s get this question out there.  Let’s start asking all those who would tear us apart for their own gain with their spurious questions of our articles of faith.  But let’s start where it counts.

The next time you hear some tree hugger or some right wingnut railing on about something that makes you want to sew their lips shut, ask yourself:  Do you believe in equal rights for all Americans?

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July 4th celebrates an idea.  I love that.  No battle was fought or lost and, aside from a possible quill sharpening incident, no blood was shed.  A group of men got together and set down principles they felt were worth standing for.  And, on the 4th, they signed their work and affirmed an idea.

“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 think that’s the coolest thing ever.  A day set aside to celebrate an idea we believe in.  We became, that day, the world’s great experiment.  If we can pull this thing off, if we can live by this ideal, there’s hope for humanity.

Despite our belief and all the backyard barbecue, the goal we signed that day is yet to be attained.  We have made a lot of progress.  Women, who were not in the room that day, now have the vote and a lot more rights, though equality? Well, ask a woman.  Black Americans are no longer slaves and are moving toward a greater and more equal participation in our society.

There is progress and change.  That’s where the hope part comes in and is what I think this grand experiment is about.  Keeping things the way they were is not what we celebrate on July 4th.

I hope one day, that I might have equality and the same rights as all Americans.  I hope one day to be a citizen of this country.  Not just in words, I am that, but in deeds and in fact.

There’s the hope and the power of words.  Until then I can:

Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.

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