Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Compassionate Patriots


Our Declaration of Independence ends: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

In a speech entitled: “Love of God, Love of Man, Love of Country,” Frederick Douglass explained: “I make no pretension to patriotism.  So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation.  In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.  It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”

In 1925, Clarence Darrow volunteered to defend John Scopes' right to teach evolution.  He is also remembered for writing: “I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic.  I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure — that is all that agnosticism means.”

I’m an agnostic secularist, who supports the concept that our government and religion should be totally separate.  Religions provide a great deal of comfort throughout the world.  However, many hypocritical people haven’t been practicing the Golden Rule, that requires: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”  That value is shared by 21 of the world religions.  It’s an ethical code that states one has a right to just treatment, and a responsibility to ensure justice for others.  It’s also called the ethic of reciprocity and is arguably the most essential basis for the modern concept of human rights.

Religious dogma is by it’s very definition uncompromising.  Tolerance and compromise aren’t enough to ensure that every American is a valued citizen.  Compassionate patriots understand that patriotism requires loving every citizen. 

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