Monday, August 07, 2006

The 21st Century American

Americans have a history of liberty, courage, honor, discipline, kindness, and compassion to name of few of the many positive qualities. We unfortunately also have just as long a history of hatred, dishonesty, violence, and discrimination. Many people today struggle with what teachings they should follow, and which they should abandon in their search for a better world for themselves and their descendants. I suggest that you follow some simple guidelines when trying to descern right from wrong.

No religion or ideal is inherently bad unless it calls for harm to someone or someone's property. First and foremost our founding fathers realized this and made every attempt to make sure that one religious ideal would not oppress, restrict, or curtail the liberty of another person to practice something different.

Thomas Jefferson, in his 1st inaugural address in 1801 said, “Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable. The minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression". Even earlier than that Washington said, "As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”~George Washington, 1790

From these two comments we can see that our founders expected the constitution to grow with the ever changing needs of the country. They knew that America's culture would not remain static, and that old world ways will eventually have to give way to new ideas. Progress cannot occur when all things remain the same. They had seen so much change in their own during their own lives that it would have been foolish not to believe that change is a continuing and unstoppable force. Our best assets can come from these changes, we have to give way to new things and keep our eyes open for abuse. we can cautiously move forward creating intense, needed, positive change without destroying the fabric of the Universe. We do not need to stagnate spiritualy, while we progress exponentialy every other way.

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