We had lofty pretensions when we created the United States. Despite that, we had lunch with the devil and included slavery to soothe the south and more than a little to also soothe the north. The importation and sale of human beings was a big money-maker. “All men are created equal” was the most ironic comment ever written into a declaration and constitution.
Welcome to an America where freedom of religion no longer exists. While the Supreme Court says they are “preserving the original Constitution,” their recent rulings are fundamentalist Christian doctrine. All of us who aren’t fundamentalists or, for that matter Christian, are full of anxiety. A division between religion and citizens is such a fundamental American right, it might be the most critical concept in our first amendment.
Freedom of religion is not only the footing of the first amendment, but has been the mainstay of subsequent legislative updates. It has always been critical to our understanding of what America means. Subsequent court cases have repeatedly re-established this original first amendment principle. It’s clearly stated. I don’t understand how anyone can find a crack in it.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Yet we find ourselves back to a time before the constitution. We’ve cut human rights. Forget civil rights. We are losing basic rights which have always been the best part of America. Even though a big chunk of those rights were originally tainted by slavery, we have evolved to a place where many of us felt we were poised to finally make the jump to a better world.
Instead, we’ve gone back so far I think we may have lurched into the 1600s. Maybe the next step will be burning witches.
It has been two hundred and forty-seven years since 1775 when we fought the battles of Lexington and Concord. We’ve undone the progress we made during those years Equality has been jailed, shot, and hit with tear gas.
The first update to the first amendment was made by Thomas Jefferson. He introduced a bill to establish religious freedom. It passed in 1779 and was strongly supported by James Madison who stated:
“…the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of everyman; And it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate
Republicans — as a party — are fully committed to non-equality.
To get full and “fair” rights, the GOP position is simple: be a white Christian heterosexual man.
After the Civil war, a huge number of white people lost whatever concept they might have held in favor of equality. Not just toward dark-skinned people. They just plain lost it. They resented and objected to anything that could narrow the inequality gap between white Christian men and anyone else — including women. Until the late 1940s, it wasn’t illegal, so they raised their children to be the same narrow-minded bigots they were.
It’s 2022. Women — not a minority since women outnumber men — are nonetheless significantly below men professionally and still fighting the endless battle to control our bodies much less being equal in the workplace.
Appalling though this is, many (most?) Republicans seem proud of these developments and don’t “get” why others think they are stupid. They call it snobbery. It’s not. We all know those people are not stupid in the sense of having low intelligence. They are intentionally stupid. Ignorance is their choice which is worse. They are proud of their lack of culture and education. They think racism, bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and a failure to understand science, history, or facts is just fine.
Racism, bigotry, narrow-mindedness, and a failure to understand science, history, or facts are not fine. These have been the signature of the underclass in every civilization in human history.
I wish I could see a brighter day down the road, but I don’t. Mostly, I see hotter days, filthy oceans, and an ever increasing level of poverty, deprivation, and ignorance. Maybe a war too and there will be nothing civil about this war.
I’ll get off my soapbox now. Nothing I write will make a difference. You can’t confront those people with facts, rational explanations, history, or even kindness and compassion. None of these things matter to them. They are rigid, grim, and cruel.
Those who are not intentionally stupid are deplorably corrupt. It’s mind-boggling that we have come to tolerate and accept this degree of corruption. If it weren’t currently unpopular, I’m sure these same people would be cheering on the Russians because they have oil. We’ve suppressed research that proves we can run our cars and generators on almost anything including garbage and water. We don’t need oil, gas, or uranium. Most people don’t realize there are so alternatives. We do not have to pollute the earth and oceans. Our current solution — electric cars — is more like a band-aid over a running sore. We are still depending on generating electricity to get these cars to run and generating electricity? It uses the same oil, gas, and nuclear stuff we’re trying to be rid of.
We need to use something else to run vehicles, generate electricity, heat or cool our homes. Did you know any internal combustion engine can, with minimal changes, run on alcohol? And you can create alcohol from almost anything, including garbage and mulch? This isn’t news. The research has been around for at least 70 years. If you think you are making the world greener with your electric car? Think again. You are not making the world greener. The car may make you feel better and it will save you money at the pump, but it’s not a solution.
I’m sure we’ll keep on being stupid until we run out of options and maybe, all things considered, we also run out of nationhood. Maybe it’s China’s turn. Who knows? Something is going to happen. I just don’t know what.