Sunday, February 3, 2008

Football and The Declaration

I've always enjoyed the relatively new (since 2002?) tradition of the recitation of the pertinent philosophical points of the Declaration prior to the Super Bowl. It's so important for people to read and hear the actual words that founded our nation.

I hadn't heard this quote by Thomas Paine before...

"Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS." This point, of course, has been a source of contention since the very beginning.

Some people like this commenter (#8) don't appreciate it this because of imperfections in our founders...
so when the Decleration of Independence was signed many of the guys pictured in the commercial wouldn't have been there unless their slave owners allowed them. As for the lack of women in it, of course, they weren't recognized until 150 years after that fact - I guess the truths we held evident weren't sp evident, except to the to rich white guys - hey just like the nfl owners today- coincedence?
Looks like that guy needs to read this book...a very readable book with solid scholarship on these and other accusations.

A student told me one day that he wouldn't pledge allegiance to the flag because the country wasn't fair to Blacks. I told him that we don't pledge to what is, but to what we aspire to. No one says at their wedding ceremony, "I pledge to continue hanging out with you and be mostly concerned about my own happiness." No...the starry-eyed couple pledges to love through every conceivable circumstance -- a lofty aspiration indeed.

The ideals grounded in the Declaration set us on the unprecedented path to achieve equality for all humans based on the natural law. If it wasn't for the "rich white guys" who were willing to pledge their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" human freedom would likely be much more limited than it is now.

The commenter is correct if he means that our working out of our founding principles were flawed at the beginning...and are still flawed. However, I think he's conflating this with the principles themselves -- a very dangerous and ignorant error.

Great game, by the way...

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