The Liberty Bell represents our nation’s aspirations. It’s good to think about it from time to time, especially now, when we need to focus on unity, not division. Here are a couple of interesting facts about it.
Crack: Nobody knows
for sure when or how the crack happened. It’s been the center of much
speculation, though, based less on fact and more on symbolism. One theory is
that it cracked when our nation divided itself from Britain—during the Revolutionary
War. Another is that it happened during
Chief Justice John Marshall’s funeral. Despite little formal education, he rose
to have great judicial influence on the direction of our country.
Ring: It hasn’t rung
since 1846, during George Washington’s birthday. Maybe it had done its job. It was erected in 1752 and first rung when the
Declaration of Independence was first read in 1776. We were totally independent when we had our
Anyway, I think it’s time to cherish such icons as the Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty, to remember we really are—all of us — “one nation under God,” and we should stop our bickering, hatred, and cruelty to each other and reunite as a nation.
bell, crack, facts, God, independence, Liberty, Marshall, nation, ring, theory, Washington
I switched my Thursday Thought to today because my dog insisted I honor her on yesterday’s National Love Your Pet Day. So, here’s today’s Day-After-Thursday-Thought quote. It struck me because of all the hatred, manipulation, lies, half-truths, and distrust I’m seeing in my world today, especially in my country.
“This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. We can no longer afford to worship the God of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.” (From Martin Luther King’s speech “When Silence Is Betrayal,” given at Riverside Church, New York, April 4, 1967.)
A new United Nations report has an answer. It points out that almost 71 million people have left their home countries, not because they want to but because that’s the only way they and their children can escape persecution, violence, and war. That’s approximately 1 in every 108 people living on this planet. We’re seeing them flee to our country, but so are other countries (ask Germany).
What’s wrong with us? Can’t we work harder toward peace? Get rid of world leaders who are egomaniacs, narcissists, power-hungry, greedy, or killing people in the name of God? Can’t we work on ourselves and our attitude of “We don’t care, because we’re fine here?”–an attitue that leads us to complacency and acceptance of violence and hatred we see in our daily lives?
Can’t we remember that, after all, we are a family of human beings?
Wars are fought over religion. The Supreme Being is called by different names. People distrust, belittle, hate, or kill others because of their religious beliefs. Yet, it all boils down to a simple rule that appears in the holy books of all major religions. Some call it the “Golden Rule.” (Put the cursor on the chart and use Ctrl X while scrolling to enlarge so you can see everything.)
It really WAS “the year that changed America.” While living through it in my twenties, I didn’t realize that, of course. It just seemed that a whole lot of bad stuff and changes were happening.
I recorded the four-part series “1968: The Year that Changed America” and have just finished watching it. I realize now that my mind, in its mercy, stretched out all those events over several years rather than containing them in that one actual year.
I realize, too, that 1968 changed not only my country but me, too. I became more aware of the atrocities people can carry out on each other and of the ever-present good people who step in to help victims; of unjust laws and people acting to change them; of prejudice and bigotry and those of all colors who unite to fight them; of senseless violence and people who mourn, then rise to say “Never again!”
Watching “1968” had an odd effect on me. It saddened me as I remembered my emotions at the time. And it encouraged me, because it reminded me that Americans are resilient, determined, and caring. It made me more optimistic as I live through this current turbulent era.
And it reminded me that God truly does bless America, and He does it through us, the people.
Sixteen years ago we proved that we are America strong, America compassionate, America resilient, America united, America tough, America protective.
A group of fanatics set about to bring us to our knees in fear. But instead of creating terror, they unleashed the American spirit.
God HAS blessed America–through its people.
Let’s start the week on a light note.
MOTHER TERESA, the newest Catholic saint, was blessed with the wisdom to understand life in its most simple elements. In today’s Thursday Thought quote she describes a philosophy she lived by and that would do us good to remember in this world in which atrocities are done in the name of God (no matter what name He/She is called by):
“There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Buddhist become a better Buddhist and a Christian become a better Christian.”
I’m sorry, but I’m not offering you an informative or humorous blog today. My heart is too heavy as I hear news of even more human beings being killed by terrorists who have no concept of brotherhood or basic human decency. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Brussels, which means the perpetrators are once again profaning the name of Allah, whom they claim as their God yet who must be crying tears of sadness and disappointment right now.
In a few minutes, I intend to ask my God–the universal God of mercy and love–to help the rest of us fight this evil of terrorism.