Much Ado About Something
Yesterday was our nation’s birthday, another year to reflect on and celebrate the “grand experiment” of forging a Democratic Republic from a people’s ideals, rather than from a common history, geography or language. No one knew at the outset what the infant country would become; it remains a fascinating ongoing process and we learn as we go.
One source of national pride over our short history has sprung from our ethos of overarching inclusiveness; i.e., regardless of our background or where we have come from, we are all equal in our rights and freedoms. Intrinsic in this are our founding principles around each person having the freedom to worship (or not worship) according to his or her own conscience, treating one another equitably regardless of ethnicity, gender, faith or creed, and more than that, living together cooperatively & peaceably despite our differences in heritage, affiliation, financial means, etc. In keeping with these values, we have chosen to create legal protections to shield us from those who would discriminate against individuals or groups by denying them assistance, products, services, or employment due to the color of their skin, age, or disability, for example.
This makes the recent Hobby Lobby decision in which our Supreme Court Justices deemed it acceptable for a corporation to exclude one group, women in this instance, from specific insurance benefit provisions, all the more shocking. This is deeply troubling. Had Hobby Lobby said that they had the right to be excused from hiring Hispanics or granting Jews or Seventh Day Adventists, e.g. with coverage of some kind because of their beliefs, the outrage would have been swift and absolute forcing them to close their doors long before it reached our highest court.
We must ask ourselves just what it is that is supporting an environment where our national leadership is becoming increasingly skewed in their decision-making specific to women, and we must address it. If there is anyone to blame, it is those of us who have become lackadaisical about our role in “We the people.” It is our responsibility and obligation to pay attention to all elections, to participate in giving constructive feedback to our lawmakers and President, to make our expectations known to those new-comers running for office, and to vote those who do not represent the changing needs and intentions of their constituents, or have betrayed the public trust, out of office.
Most of us are worn out from partisan politics and the stagnation that results. We are tired of our financial and human resources going into unnecessary military involvement in foreign wars, instead of going toward helping our veterans and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; and are fed up with the number and variety of criminal acts committed by those in State and national legislature entrusted with leaving the country better than they found it through dedication & commitment to the greater good (If this is news to you, look into members of Congress charged with/convicted of felonies…it is deplorable). But the people who hold these offices are no more culpable than those of us who have elected them. Why we have chosen to tolerate the destructive behavior & discriminatory policies coming out of Washington for as long as we have will be argued by pundits and sociologists for years to come. What matters now is that we put a stop to it.
Much Ado About Something