Saturday, July 03, 2010

What does the Fourth of July mean to me?

In 1,000 words or less...

I'm looking out at the high prairie clouds. They drift east, as always, toward Pine Bluffs and Kimball. The people out there will get some fireworks this afternoon -- lightning and thunder and maybe golfball-sized hail. I should be able to see the light show from my backyard. Happy Third of July!

There will be store-bought fireworks in the neighborhood tonight. Already heard some the last two nights. Things that go boom are illegal in the city. Thing is, Cheyenne is ringed by sellers of fireworks. It would be a darn shame to have access to star shell cannons and flaming mortars and not be able to shoot them off. The law seems to stop very few except old law-abiding me.

I respect the law. I've broken a few in my time. Just the usual -- speed limits, marijuana prohibitions (a long time ago!), drinking laws (a very, very long time ago!) and I once watered my lawn on the wrong day. Nothing serious. I've tried to teach my children well, as the song goes.

Some very smart people drafted the laws that went into the U.S. Constitution that was codified 234 years ago. This document is allegedly why we celebrate the holiday, although visiting space aliens (let's see some I.D., you four-headed lizard!) might think the holiday is for blowing things up, burning meat on backyard grills and buying furniture at deep discounts. Also fighting Coloradans for camping spots at Glendo and Guernsey.

The Constitution has been in the news a lot lately. Some people think that the Constitution is just fine the way it is. Others want to change it so the freedoms in the document can be protected from Obama. Not sure how changing it will protect it. But many people talk about the Constitution but few seem to know what's actually in it. God and guns are in there. If you listen to Sen. Coburn of Oklahoma, God actually invented gun rights so it doesn't matter what the Constitution says about it.

Tea Partiers seem to be of two minds about the Constitution. Some want to wrap it in concrete (or Glenn Beck's gold) so it can't be touched. Others want to change some of its amendments in order to protect it from that darn Obama. Either way, they're mad as hell. Freedoms! Nobody gets to mess with the Constitution except us!

The odd thing about the Tea Party is they are religious about the purity of the Constitution but they aren't all religious.

But some are.

Writing in today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle's Religion section, Sunnyside Baptist Church Pastor Max Janzen wrote about freedoms:

"Despite revisions historians' attempts to dismiss it, the Founding Fathers of this great and blessed nation clearly stated what did, would, could, can and hopefully will keep us from our loss of freedom: faith in God. It is on our money, in our pledge and in the second stanza of our national anthem."

And on our bumper stickers and in newspaper ads and on Fox TV, don't forget those. And at NASCAR races.

"Our freedom, most of the general public agrees, is a gift. Gifts require givers, and those who crafted, protected and granted us those liberties have for the far greater part acknowledged they were not the givers, but that God was and is."

Most of the general public agrees with this. However, there is a part of the general public which does not. As a prog-blogger I am probably part of this minority, as are Liberals such as Rachel Maddow and Al Franken, most poets, atheists (of course), skeptics and New Dealers. We hate freedoms! We are cursed.

"So in order to really celebrate liberty, be unabashedly thankful to the God who created you, in this time, allowing you to live in this place.

"And if you don't believe in God, get to work providing freedom for other people who do. Otherwise, you believe in the slavery of others to your own opinions."

Now I've probably broken my own law and written more than 1,000 words. But I'm free to do so. The Constitution protects my right to say anything I want, even if it exceeds the word limit or makes me sound crazy as a loon. The Constitution also gives me the right to shoot off fireworks any darn place I want to. Says so right there in the 234th amendment.

Happy Fourth of July!



Tamika said...

Hi I am a fiction writer too.

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful story, although you sure that was under 1000? seems much more than that.. or maybe I set the font too big :P