We know these words. Oh say can you see…? Here are some others I am pretty confident that we know:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Here are some others… In the beginning. And then… we have the last words of the Bible: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).
I have taken on a new assignment, and my hope is that YOU will bear with me as I work through it. If nothing else this week, I’ve learned that we rely on words. Taking a knee… those are some other words I am convinced will live on — much beyond my time. As will #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter #bringbackourgirls and truly the list goes on.
I’ve decided, in fact just today, to learn more. When we sing the Anthem, we sing the first verse, heck how many of us realize there is a verse two, three, four, and during the Civil War even a verse five?
What do we do with the other verses…? What do we do with Every. Single. Word between In the beginning and The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.?
My intention — to learn more about the players and shapers of our history. Slavery and oppression is not an idea unique to the United States of America. Though I’d argue that as a society while not perfect, I find we continue to strive to create a more perfect union, which doesn’t happen everywhere. Consider that there are still places in the world where being openly gay will result in your death, that women not only don’t have the right to vote, they don’t have the right to pursue an education and remain property to the men that own them.
Let’s get real, and let’s have honest and I am sure difficult conversation. We depend on it. Many thanks to Julie Bailey, my high school English teacher as I imagine I’ll be relying on her expertise and critique often as I learn more and try with an open heart and mind to explore our challenges in this moment when the opportunity has been given.