I was able to get this post back thanks to Google’s cache system.
Originally posted on December 3, 2011:
Recently, I was watching Mona Lisa Smiles on cable. If you aren’t familiar with the storyline, it is set in the 1950s at Wellesley College (an all girl’s university). An art history professor joins them played by Julia Roberts. She is different from the rest of the faculty and for some of the students, she is their first exposure to a woman who believed that marriage was not a woman’s only goal in life.
They called her subversive.
That, of course, set me on a course of thinking… I started to imagine all the names they probably called the women who wanted equal rights. I thought of all the names that people called black people and those who fought alongside them during the Civil Rights Movement. I have been witness to the same things happening as we fight for equal marriage rights. Taking it a step further, I watch today’s news and read online all the things they say about Occupy Wall Street and it all sounds so eerily familiar.
I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful for the women who stood up for our rights. Now, we should never be looked upon with disdain if we work during motherhood or if we stay at home.
I don’t know about you, but I am so grateful that we all have the right to vote because we are all human beings.
Some of the things I’ve heard lately that I don’t agree with:
- All the protestors are stupid kids who have no idea why they are out there.
- Thank God it is Winter. Now, this will all go away.
- This country was founded on Christian and Capitalistic principles.
- It’s terrible that President Obama didn’t bring up God during his Thanksgiving speech.
Okay.… let’s see what a little bit of research shows on each of these points:
- According to Wikipedia: «Early on the protesters were mostly young due to their pronounced use of social networks through which they promoted the protests. As the protest grew, older protesters also became involved. The average age of the protesters is 33, with people in their 20s balanced by people in their 40s. Various religious faiths have been represented at the protest including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. On October 10 the Associated Press reported that “there’s a diversity of age, gender and race” at the protest. Some news organizations have compared the protest to a left-leaning version of the Tea Party protests.According to a survey of Zuccotti Park protesters by the Baruch College School of Public Affairs published on October 19, of 1,619 web respondents, 1/3 were older than 35, half were employed full-time, 13% were unemployed and 13% earned over $75,000. 27.3% of the respondents called themselves Democrats, 2.4% called themselves Republicans, while the rest, 70%, called themselves independents.»
- You may find fewer people out and about physically protesting, but the movement has only increased online with such websites as The OCCUPIED Amendment and OccupyWallStreet.org. There are lots of things you can do from home. Here is one of my favorite videos:
- As far as being a Christian country, America was NOT founded as such. «“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” Treaty of Tripoli
Some Facts and Conclusions
- God wasn’t on our currency until 1864(Well after the founding of the country)
- The word God does not appear a single time in the U.S Constitution.
- God was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, it was originally written in 1892.
- There is no mention of the proper noun “God” in the Declaration of Independence, only the proper noun “Nature’s God”. This was written by Thomas Jefferson who did not practice Christianity, he rather believed Jesus wasn’t divine, but a good ethics teacher to base your life on.
- Morality is not based in Christianity as implied above, morality existed well before the bible.
- Democracy’s namesake was atheist.
So, in a sense, democracy was founded on atheistic values, the strongest of which is freedom. The U.S is in no way founded on Christianity, or Christian beliefs, it was founded on basic conceptions of the human condition; the mechanism that spawns theism, not the opposite. Historically, religion was separated from government, and all was well, then Christianity gained momentum and converged with government starting in (at best) the mid 1800s. There is an overlap, but we started trying to (and succeeding) separate church and state again in the mid 1900s by constitutionally defining what had been commonly interpreted by a more philosophizing civilization as a given. Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_the_founding_fathers_found_our_country_on_Christianity_or_not#ixzz1fUOb1J6R»»
**As far as being capitalistic in our founding, I think maybe. But it definitely was not founded to be Corporatism which is described in the dictionary as being: «the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction». What I know for sure is that it was not created to celebrate greed or the need to constantly build more and more power over others.
While I don’t mean to be offensive, as a former Christian — the image certainly rang true to me.
- As far as Separation of Church and State goes, I will again reference Wikipedia: «
Use of the phrase
The phrase “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
Another early user of the term was James Madison, the principal drafter of the United States Bill of Rights. In a 1789 debate in the House of Representatives regarding the draft of the First Amendment, the following was said:
August 15, 1789. Mr. [Peter] Sylvester [of New York] had some doubts…He feared it [the First Amendment] might be thought to have a tendency to abolish religion altogether…Mr. [Elbridge] Gerry [of Massachusetts] said it would read better if it was that “no religious doctrine shall be established by law.”…Mr. [James] Madison [of Virginia] said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that “Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law.”…[T]he State[s]…seemed to entertain an opinion that under the clause of the Constitution…it enabled them [Congress] to make laws of such a nature as might…establish a national religion; to prevent these effects he presumed the amendment was intended…Mr. Madison thought if the word “National” was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen…He thought if the word “national” was introduced, it would point the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent.
Madison contended “Because if Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body.“ Several years later he wrote of “total separation of the church from the state.“ “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States”, Madison wrote, and he declared, “practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.“ In a letter to Edward Livingston Madison further expanded, “We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt.“ This attitude is further reflected in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, originally authored by Jefferson and championed by Madison, and guaranteeing that no one may be compelled to finance any religion or denomination.
… no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
Under the United States Constitution, the treatment of religion by the government is broken into two clauses: the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. Both are discussed in regard to whether certain state actions would amount to an impermissible government establishment of religion.»
So.… personally, I find it refreshing and wonderful that President did not bring God into his speech. I am not Christian. This does not make me un-American. While I respect your right to believe what you wish, I don’t appreciate my government showing that they lean anyway but straight down the middle. I would much rather our President be respectful of all faiths that make up this amazing country instead of someone such as our former President who spoke quite frequently of his God, his faith and joining in with his type of prayer. I consider that being disrespectful to Americans. So easily to rather say, join me in your faith path to work together towards a common goal of peace. Please do not tell me that your God told you to do something when you are sitting in the Oval office and I won’t tell you that your dead ancestor told me you are working against the foundation of our country.
Is Occupy Wall Street a subversive movement? No more so than fighting for equal rights for women, black Americans and gay marriages, in my opinion. Will it work to win over its true base enemy of greed? Unfortunately, no. But perhaps it will open of the eyes of those blinded by apathy of how badly we are being taken advantages by coporations who do not pay taxes and the politicians that they have paid to keep things the same.