Here are some articles to ponder this 4th of July….
The full text of the Declaration of Independence.
First you get a very large pot, and mix in some Brits, some French, a bunch of Irish, then add a few million Africans, stir up some Indians, then simmer…..
There would appear to be a very loud group of people in the country that don’t see America as including liberals, Blacks, Mexicans, Jews, homosexuals, uppity women and bunches of other people who are not like them.
The diversity of our society scares the bejeezus out of them.
But the diversity of our society is our greatest strength.
There is much debate about the “original intent” of those who wrote our Constitution.
For example, did the guys who wrote our Constutition create a “Christian” nation?
To some folks one has to stick to the “original intent” of the folks who wrote our Constitution.
To other folks the Constitution is a “living” document that has worked remarkably well for over 200 years because we can take the words of , for example, Article 1 …and deal with modern issues.
With all the debate about immigration going on, it is useful to remember that somewhere in the past, we were all immigrants to America.
Folks left their homelands and risked their lives to come to a strange land so they could build a future for themselves and their children.
This July 4th weekend, remember the stories of who your ancestors were and why they came to America…and what it took for you to be who you are today.
These are mine:
I did not know that under the 1862 Homestead Act a person who intended to become a citizen could also file and get 160 acres of land.
Back in those days, after an immigrant came to America, they signed a document called a “Declaration of Intent to become a citizen”.
One can research this stuff…I found where my great great grandparents who immigrated from Czechoslovakia signed their “declaration”..and they ultimately became citizens. And now I know where the original family farm came from.
In the context of the 2011 debate over immigration law reform which seems to be polarized between “amnesty” and deportation of 11 million people…it is hard to imagine a time when not only were immigrants being invited to come to America…they were even offered a chance for free land…..
Have a Happy 4th of July and be careful with the fireworks.