Independance Day celebrates something different than freedom of religion
I believe The Summit Daily News should initiate a policy of printing the Declaration of Independence on the front page every Fourth of July. Although belated, it should be printed now, too. Then, all your letter-writers will be able to remind themselves what the document says.
The Declaration of Independence was signed July 4, 1776. It states the colonists’ right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
There is no mention of freedom of religion or freedom of expression, which your readers have been declaring. The Declaration mentions Laws of Nature and Nature’s God. It doesn’t mention God in any other way.
The Declaration of Independence itemizes the grievances the citizenry had against the King. They have to do mostly with legislation and the judiciary, taxation and representation.
The theme of Independence Day is our demand to control our own government: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” the Declaration states.
This is a broad theme, and with the many incidents that led up to the Declaration of Independence, there are more than enough ideas for floats and parades.
What most of your letter-writers are all worked up about, although they might not even know it, is the Bill of Rights. These are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, the foundation for our civil liberties, was approved in 1791.
Perhaps we should have a holiday celebrating the Bill of Rights. Then floats reflecting the passions of religion and expression would be most appropriate.
I dare say it is the Bill of Rights for which our armed forces have fought over the decades. The Summit Daily News also could do a service to the community by publishing the text of the Constitution at some time. I note you already do publish the First Amendment daily on the opinion page.
Like letter-writer Dan Marion of Summit Cove, who protested religious-themed floats in the Frisco Fourth of July parade, I am a Jew. I do not think it appropriate to have a Jewish float or any other religious float in an Independence Day parade. I watched the parade in Breckenridge and felt the same discomfort as Dan.
Having more than an additional five decades under my belt, I have learned to accept the discomfort. I always hope that people are merely insensitive to minorities – and not intentionally hurtful.
Also, contrary to a statement by one of your readers, Jews don’t deny Jesus lived. We don’t believe he is the messiah. Jesus was born and died a Jew. He practiced Judaism and taught Judaism.
All Jesus’ teachings are rooted in the Hebrew Bible. Jesus was murdered by the Romans because they were afraid he was becoming too powerful a Jew, with too much influence. Jews are awaiting the time when people shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift sword against nation nor ever again be trained for war. (Isaiah 2:4).
Elisabeth R. Weseley
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