For Freethinkers, here are some words I like to read on Independence Day, or any day.
Frederick Douglass, Speech on July Fourth, 1852
And, for good measure, a little from the Great American Poet (and “Poet of the Cosmos”), Walt Whitman,
“My words are words of questioning, and to indicate reality. . .
The saints and sages in history. . .but you yourself?
Sermons and creeds and theology. . .but the human brain, and what is called reason, and what is called love, and what is called life?”
(Song of Myself, 42)
And, I can’t resist one for the Super-Patriots out there, who glorify war and the warriors, who embarrass the rest of us with their preachings on American “Exceptionalism,” who are quick to say that people like me, like Douglass and Whitman, who question and practice freedom of thought, are “not true Americans.”
Just a one-liner, from the First American to make up the title, United States of America:
“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, Part II
Happy Birthday America. Land of the Free in Body and Mind.
Oh, and World, Happy Inter-Dependence Day!