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Wednesday, July 04, 2007
(10:59 AM) | Stephen:
Independence Day

I'm not going to worship at the altar of the mythical American soldier today.

I'm not going to catalog the things that are going wrong.

I'm not going to gloss over the injustices that have been done in the name of American "freedom."

One of the hard things about getting past elementary school lessons about the Founding Fathers - for those of us who do advance past them - is finding out that these men were not saints, they were not really even heroes. They were motivated as much by a desire to be free of taxes as they were to be "free" in the abstract sense.

They owned slaves, they raped their slaves, they didn't allow women to vote, they didn't want men who weren't property owners to vote. They didn't allow the direct election of Senators because they didn't really trust the people that much. They would be horrified to learn that their words have been used by blacks, and women, and homosexuals! - by all sorts of people who don't fit their idea who really was created equal, who really deserves the freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That's what we need to celebrate today. That we are able to have ideas that are bigger and better than we are, ideas and words that can be used by future generations to perhaps do things we cannot comprehend or endorse, but which fulfill our goals and dreams better than we can ourselves.

So today, in addition to anything else you do, think big thoughts. Dream big dreams, for yourself and your fellow citizens. That's how you'll honor this country, it's founders and all who have come since.

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