Diversity, dialogue and multiculturalism in America

My fellow Americans, Happy Fourth of July!!

Go forth and barbecue, face paint, watch fireworks and complain about how you can’t believe your boss didn’t give you Monday off because he obviously hates America.

But before you do all that, how about you read this and marvel in the sense of destiny, the utter determination, and the absolute hatred of not being able to negotiate how much money one gives the government that produced this gem of human history?

Come on.  If you really loved America, you’d read it.

(Annnd all my European and Asian readers just left the building.)

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

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.

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.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

And then they listed out all the things they hated about the king.  Rumor has it that they particularly hated his hairdo and thought he had breath that smelled of turkey legs, but decided not to include that in the original document because they were running low on ink.

Nice, huh?  Or was it all horribly boring for you?

If so, fret not!  The fate of your patriotic soul still hangs in the balance, for I have dug up an old Schoolhouse Rock video that will appease any intellectual laziness!!

Don’t feel bad, it is a Sunday, after all.

While we celebrate this day, I also want to remind you of a few verses from, “America, the Beautiful” that for some reason are rarely sung (Ray Charles being a notable exceptions, I think).

America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

- Katherine Lee Bates (1910)

That sort of sums up how I feel.  I’m realistic, but I’m hopeful.  I think we’re a pretty great nation, but I think we can do better.  I think we will do better.  Because that’s who we are.

Have fun today, America, and remember the reasons behind the rituals.

Also a very happy birthday to my dear friend Jared whose birth in and of itself merits annual nationwide fireworks and belting out the national anthem at full volume.

 

15 Responses to Go America, It’s Your Birthday

  1. RW says:

    And remember, he who goes forth with a fifth on the fourth will not go forth on the fifth.

  2. NYCWD says:

    Go forth and barbecue, face paint, watch fireworks

    You forgot eat hot dogs.

    WTF?

    The Yellow Mustard Belt will be decided today and you have conveniently left this fact out because???

    You obviously hate New York.

    Specifically Coney Island.

    Because obviously it isn’t Manhattan.

    Hmph.

    Whatever.

    P.S.

    Hi Faiqa!

    • Faiqa says:

      @NYCWD, This made me laugh. I miss you, man… and I love hot dogs. It was a complete oversight. Make time for me in August. Please.

  3. Pearl says:

    Realistic but hopeful describes me as well.

    Pearl

  4. yknot says:

    Wait, Didn’t Jared try convincing someone on the plane that you were trying to blow it up?

  5. yknot says:

    Wait, Didn’t Jared try convincing someone on the plane that you were trying to blow it up?

  6. Miss Britt says:

    Thanks for posting this. I kind of love our belligerent and yet philosophical forefathers.

  7. Miss Britt says:

    Thanks for posting this. I kind of love our belligerent and yet philosophical forefathers.

  8. I read every word and watched the video. I am glad you posted this. XO

    And also, yay for Jared being born!

  9. Avitable says:

    History is just not my cuppa.

  10. Sybil Law says:

    I love our forefathers. Smart freaking men.
    Happy 4th!!

  11. As different as things are now, you still have to be very proud of what our forefathers did. Happy birthday, America!

  12. Jason says:

    Thank you for this! It all means even more coming from you, somehow. As I watched the parade this morning, I realized I was having some conflicting feelings about our country.

    As usual, I love and highly respect your opinion and perspective.

  13. SciFi Dad says:

    Whenever I hear “America, the Beautiful” I always think of Chuck Mangione.

    Wait! This makes sense, I promise!

    See, he did a live recording of him at the Village Gate where he pointed out/admitted that his most famous song (Feels So Good) actually uses the exact same progression as “America, the Beautiful”, and proceeds to mash up the two.

    There, see? Don’t you feel more enlightened now?

  14. Jared says:

    I won’t ever say so or lead on ever again, but I am truely honored to have my birthday acknowledged by you. Sorry it took so long to say so.

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