I love when somebody says something that gets me fired up enough to write an unplanned response. When I write I usually have a pretty good sense of what I plan to say before I ever set fingers to keyboard; however, my favorite pieces are the ones I didn’t think about before writing or even pressing send. The following post is one of these Dionysian responses to a classmate’s post about freedom, happiness, and the so called “American Dream.”
I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis of the Declaration of Independence as the pillar for the American dream, happiness, and freedom. In my opinion, the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence is one of the most hypocritical statements ever written down.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
When the Declaration was originally written the term all men didn’t actually include ALL men and explicitly excluded women, along with slaves and Native Americans. “Endowed by their creator” may sound like religious tolerance, but in practice it only applied to those men that worship one god, again excluding many peoples and their beliefs. Unalienable Rights should mean rights that cannot be taken away or changed by man-made laws; however, this hasn’t held up for any culture within American society since.
Consider for example the right to freedom of speech and then consider censorship in modern America; the right to bear arms is another constitutional freedom that has been steadily manipulated to remove firearms from mainstream society; religious freedom is also listed, but yet monotheism was forced upon many tribes who never even believed in deities to begin with, simply the power of the natural world around them, and those of us today who are supposed to sit quietly waiting for others to finish their religious ceremonies before we can proceed with eating a meal or performing job duties. Finally, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness is sardonically hypocritical, as the same men who wrote and signed this document participated in the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the native peoples here whose lives, liberties, and opportunities to pursue happiness were taken from them without a second thought about their rights and freedoms.
I am not anti-American, but I am anti-hypocrisy and as much as we like to tout about our freedoms and the righteousness and greatness of our country, our society is actually based on a sandy foundation of hypocrisy and self-interest.
- Daily Prompt: Snark Bombs, Away! (dailypost.wordpress.com)