This week, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our nation, I find myself feeling very un-patriotic.
On the heels of the Supreme Court's horrific decision allowing corporations to determine an individual's access to medical treatment (specifically contraception), this 4th of July forces a bitter reflection on the new American reality. Jefferson's words no longer resonate with promise or hope. Five lesser men robbed me of that sentiment this week.
We have reached a critical moment in our nation's history - a moment that places the rights and desires of corporations over those of its citizens. As the Declaration of Independence states, the government "[derives] their just powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED."
As a woman, an American, and a voter, I can tell you now that I do not consent to this ruling, and certainly do not consent to have my rights and decisions weighed as less worthy than those of money-hungry corporations. This is not my America. This is not the country that I grew up in, nor is it holding true to the promise and ideals that I studied and believed in. My America saw me as an individual, and saw that the traits, ideas and choices that I carried, while different from those of my neighbors, were valid and important. It was those very differences that helped create the America I loved. This week's ruling has further squashed that right - the right to be unique and to make different choices.
The Founders would be outraged to know that this decision came about under the guise of religious freedom - a concept that tried to ensure that no one religion was held higher than any others.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
I'm not sure how I'll feel this July 4th as I sit and reread the words so eloquently written by Thomas Jefferson. I hope that by then I will have come to grips with the hopelessness that has shrouded me since the decision. I hope that I will no longer be ashamed of my country, and that reciting those words will help rekindle in me a new-found hope for the long road ahead.