July Fourth 2018
I began to reflect on the Fourth of July yesterday, but family celebrations came first, and now it is July Fifth…now Tenth! I was, and still am remembering, that in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed. In 1876, A Declaration of Sentiments by feminists was drafted and signed, the original document being for propertied white men (we forget!). And then in 1976, The women’s Coalition for the Third Century presented the nation with the Declaration of Interdependence accompanied by the Declaration of Imperatives a outlining the rights women must finally have.
In 1976, women decided to speak on behalf of humanity and declare our need for Interdependence is we are to survive and thrive as individuals and a nation.
I was privileged to be the President of the Women’s Coalition in 1976. Our organization was made up of leaders from many Women’s Organizations across our nation, religious and secular, along with individuals who joined. It was signed by women in the House of Representatives. And, in spite of that fact, try as we did, we got no press. Maybe we should have staged a riot to get attention. And you won’t find anything about our document on the Web. It is included in my book, “Button Reflections”.
As we celebrate in 2018, we have a President in office who represents the most exaggerated definition of Patriarchy possible. He and his administration prove the point that women can be adherents of patriarchy as well as men. And, if we are ever going to “make America great again,” as Mr. Trump calls us to do, we must return to our movements toward justice and peace, and care enough about our nation to implement the dream of a truly democratic nation where all are respected, welcomed, and treated fairly. A nation where the power of compassion prevails, violence is not worshipped, peace is sought, the environment is protected, and a nation where economic institutions serve the people and not the interests of the wealthy elite.
Being a firm believer myself in the first commandment of the Hebrew Bible, “You shall have no other God’s before me,” I cannot give my ultimate loyalty to any nation. And I see the terrible danger in merging faith and patriotism, here or anywhere. That having been said, I am a proud citizen of the United States and I am committed to our taking our place as world leaders, with democracy to share and along with our pride that our citizenship is more diverse than any other world-wide. I am patriotic especially when I take a figurative knee.
It is time to dust off our “Declaration of Interdependence” where it is stored in the Smithsonian with historic documents at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliff in Cambridge, MA.
One of the sentences in our “Declaration of Interdependence” stands out as I write this:
“We will no longer endure the corruption of power which risks the world’s future by ignoring the rights and well being of persons and communities.”
So be it.