Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Omission

To reach the Heights
(by R.P.Edwards)

To reach the heights
Foundation, first
Poured…then leveled…cured
And then add brick
With mortar’s stick
Each wall
Both plumb, and sure
With these below
We upward go
No limit to our make
But one forget
One misplaced step
Then dreams will fall
And break

In the news is the discovery that Thomas Jefferson had a momentary brain-cramp while writing the Declaration of Independence; first penning the word “subjects“ before noticing the blunder and wiping, then substituting “citizens“ in its place.  Exciting stuff (especially for the science geeks among us).  However, it’s the sizable omission from the first draft that I find particularly interesting.  As follows:

 He (king George III) has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the  warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Yes, slavery.  Apparently the southern colonies wouldn’t go along with the Document with this portion still in place. As a result; they were placated, the end-thinking being, I suppose: “We’ll compromise here…and fix it later.”  Yes, it was fixed all right; four score and seven years later, and half a million…dead.

So, here, on this memorable day, is one man’s gentle observation and suggestion:  Consider: if slavery had been fixed in the beginning, it wouldn’t have been so difficult to uproot…in the end.  Even so, as we “conservatives” seek to straighten out the horrible mess that government has become, let’s be careful to not throw our “morals” under the bus in the name of expediency.  As for me, my “rightward-ness” comes from a strong Christian belief system.  I unashamedly acknowledge that deity is mentioned four times in the Declaration.  I cling to the closing phrase--“in the year of our Lord“--just before the signatures on the U.S. Constitution.  I can, and will not cast aside my support of the unborn and traditional morality for the hope of a  “balanced budget.”  In my mind, success, without the Declaration’s “Creator”…is impossible.  Let us, therefore, as many as are likeminded--and as the election quickly approaches--let us be sure to not repeat a mistake of omission…that will cost us, and future generations…dearly.

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