Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day

For me, like many Americans, Independence day means picnics, grilled burgers and hot dogs, cold beer, and capping the day off with fireworks down at the baseball field. It’s a special day to share with family and friends. A day for kicking back and giving thanks.

I say giving thanks because I think we should be grateful for the Founding Fathers who launched us into a grand new experiment, creating a society based on individual freedoms, equality, freedom from religious bigotry, and, most importantly, the rights of ALL Americans to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Jefferson wrote into the constitution a remarkable phrase: "the pursuit of happiness." That was a new concept in 1776.

Of course, two hundred and fifty some odd years later, we are still working toward, step by painful step, those ideals—the principles of individual freedoms and equality. And that's what the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling is, pure and simple, another huge step toward what our Founding Fathers mapped out so long ago. I'm happy to finally see my gay brothers and sisters finally have a full measure of citizenship across all fifty states. Obama was right—we are a stronger nation when everyone has the same rights and is treated equally under the law.

We still have a long road to travel to defeat bigotry. I think I will not see it in my lifetime, but then, I said that about gay marriage. Who knows what will happen in the next decade. I have grand hopes for the human race.

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