Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom on Independence day

Today is a day that Americans talk a lot about 'freedom'. I'd like to share some the freedoms I'm interested in.

*The freedom to disagree with politeness. We seem to have lost this one in the last few years. To "disagree" with anyone about anything gets you called names. You're a 'socialist' or a 'Nazi' or 'un-American' in some way if you disagree. I want to be free to disagree and be treated with respect. And be 'listened to' even if I'm not 'agreed with'.

*The freedom to deviate from the norm and be accepted. This obviously begins with the need to let everyone who is in love, no matter their gender, have the same opportunities and rights as people who are heterosexual. But it goes far beyond that. Muslims need to be treated with the same respect as Christians or Jews. The 99% needs to have a seat at the table and a voice in the matter as the 1%. We all need to 'occupy' our place at the table. Undocumented persons need to have access to citizenship's rights no matter how they got here.

*The freedom to be 'equal' needs to be absolute for women. This incredible upset about The Affordable Health Care Act requiring employers to provide total health care for women is simply bogus. I guarantee you if someone suggested that prostate care for men should be exempt for certain religious reasons it wouldn't stand a chance in hell of a consideration. Plus, why is equal pay for equal work such a big frigging problem? Sounds obvious to me. Women have always carried the wood, they should have equal say in how to build the fire.

*The freedom to be 'equal' should apply to the poor. The social Darwinism of many in our society would leave the poor to fend for themselves. Either 'we're all in this together' or it's 'every person for themselves.' The very nature of capitalism creates poverty. Our society should be free to redistribute (yes, Virginia, I said the word!) wealth every decade or so to even the playing field and give everyone a shot at true equality.

*The freedom to not have my patriotism questioned when I question government policy. I have the freedom to 'stand against' what the government does as a way of being a Patriot.

That's a good enough start on the Freedoms I celebrate (and devoutly pray for on this day of Independence.)

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.