When our forefathers (and fore-mothers because you know there had to be some amazing, strong women around to make sure anything got done!) established this country, they wrote a document destined to outlive them all. This document, The Declaration of Independence, established the basic rights of every American citizen and does today continue to grant these inalienable rights to us all.
ALL OF US.
So, for the benefit of those who believe they are more equal, have more freedom, or are guaranteed more rights because they are heterosexual, religious, or a certain race, let me remind you:
It’s my Independence day too!
This day does not belong exclusively to Christian-identifying Americans who have somehow come to believe the US was founded so we can follow the God they believe we should. The event that occurred on this anniversary does not mean they can enforce their morality and misguided and inconsistent interpretations of the Bible no more than it means America was founded because it was “God’s chosen nation.”
It was founded in, among other things, the freedom of—and from, if you’re so inclined—religion.
This country belongs no more to heterosexuals, to the religious, to the Caucasian race than it does anyone else who may not be heterosexual, the same kind (or any) religion, or white. Yet so many in these groups think it does.
Time and again, these zealots think because they have been able to control the vote to discriminate and withhold rights from others in the past that they have a “God-given” power to continue thus. Yet as we see time and time again through history, ill-conceived laws are later undone by subsequent laws, amendments, and court interpretations that eventually assert the equal citizenship and freedom documents like the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were always destined to provide.
Yeaterday I noticed a sign posted at a local business on Pearl Street in downtown Granbury, Texas, where I live, that says
“Pray we don’t lose our freedom.”
Based on prior messages I have seen posted here, I wonder if this person somehow fears that granting rights to all citizens will somehow reduce or deny his rights? Or is he worried that his freedom to discriminate is threatened as the freedoms of those discriminated against increases?
To you, oh misguided zealots, I say this:
A time is coming when, try as you might, your hateful “efforts in the name of your god” will no longer triumph over the civil rights due every American.
Mark my words.
So on this Independence Day 2012, I urge you to celebrate and exert your own independence by “coming out” …
“Coming out?!!! What does he mean? I’m not gay!!” you might be asking yourself.
As the title if my first book will suggest, “coming out” is not limited to one’s sexual orientation. Instead, it has the broader meaning of living the authentic self one was created–destined, even–to be.
Consider yourself a Christian but are sick and tired of all the hate and bitterness and bad witness by other Christians? Come out in love and show a better way. Demonstrate what it means to love like Jesus did. Cast no stones. Judge not. Be the light.
In a bad relationship? Liberate yourself by first loving the person looking back at you in the mirror and come out for your self.
Unhappy with something in your life? Realize you have the power to change anything and come out strong!
Uncomfortable with the social confines of your political party and its lack of compassion? Work within your party by coming out for a better way, a more inclusive platform, a kinder tone!
Hate where you are in your life? Come out of that frame of mind by listing things every day you have to be grateful for and change your outlook!
Afraid that society will judge you for who you are, who you love, or what you believe? Release yourself from needing the approval of others and come out for your beliefs, who you love, and your own dreams.
Living this way allows us to enjoy the freedoms we are guaranteed and allows us to claim our independence! It’s a really great way to live!
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.
Declaration of Independence
July 4, 1776