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

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Delegates to the Constitutional Convention left the deity out of the picture, by refusing to follow Ben Franklin's suggestion that their daily sessions be opened with a prayer for divine guidance.

In 1950’s, Congress added the words, “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.  And although, E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many One) was considered our motto, Congress adopted “In God we trust” as the official motto.

The 1960 Supreme Court decision in Engel vs Vitale ruled it unconstitutional for public schools to allow prayer, even though the prayer was non-denominational and students were allowed to abstain from the exercise.  President Kennedy announced, that he understood many people were angered by the ruling, but that there was “a very easy remedy - not a constitutional amendment but a renewed commitment to pray at home, in the churches and with their families.”

In 1984, Ronald Reagan explained: “Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism.  We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever.”

Nevertheless, some people find the song, “Imagine” that was written and preformed by John Lennon offensive.  They can’t: "Imagine there’s no heaven... No hell below us... people, living for today... no countries...  Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too... all the people, living life in peace... No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man... all the people, sharing all the world.”

On December 8, 1980, Lennon was murdered in the archway of his Dakota residence.  New York City dedicated an area of Central Park directly across from the Dakota, as Strawberry Fields.  Many countries donated trees, and Naples Italy donated the Imagine mosaic centerpiece.  I visited the site early one morning and imagined a brotherhood of man named PEACE.


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