Citizen Contradiction: Independence Day

Posted on July 5, 2020



Good Sunday Morning, Freethinking Friends! Welcome to the Sunday Service, July 4th edition!

I don’t blow shit up all night long to show my patriotism on Independence Day, but I do think about the people, ideas, and documents that created a nation called The United States, like Thomas Jefferson and his biracial family.

For the focus of today’s service, I offer the June 29, 2020 podcast of Hidden Brain, “The Founding Contradiction: Thomas Jefferson’s Stance On Slavery,” with historian Annette Gordon-Reed, who explores the contradictions embedded in Jefferson’s life as “a window into us, into who we are as Americans.”

“The fascinating thing about Jefferson is that he, in some ways, embodies the country,” she says. “A lot of Jefferson’s contradictions are alive in us. I don’t think there’s anybody in the founding generation who embodies that so well… and that’s what makes him a subject that we can’t really, I think, do without.”

Hidden Brain take[s] a deep dive into history as a window into psychology [and] look closely at the life and beliefs of a man who helped shape the modern United States — and ask how his complexities and contradictions have echoes in our own lives.

Let’s remember, too, that freedom FROM religion was prioritized in the secular, founding documents; Christian principles had nothing to do w/ the founding of the United States of America.

In today’s contentious political climate, understanding religion’s role in American government is more important than ever. Christian nationalists assert that our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and advocate an agenda based on this popular historical claim. But is this belief true? The Founding Myth answers the question once and for all. Andrew L. Seidel, a constitutional attorney at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, builds his case point by point, comparing the Ten Commandments to the Constitution and contrasting biblical doctrine with America’s founding philosophy, showing that the Bible contradicts the Declaration of Independence’s central tenets. Thoroughly researched, this persuasively argued and fascinating book proves that America was not built on the Bible and that Christian nationalism is, in fact, un-American.

Freethought In the Courts & At the Ballot Box

This week SCOTUS ruled in Espinoza that taxpayers will now be forced to pay for religious education. FFRF explains the case and the decision–taking away public money from public schools–on Ask An Atheist. This decision was a major blow to religious freedom.

On a more positive note, the MOST patriotic thing we can do is VOTE! Secular votes are critical in protecting human and civil rights. To that end Secular Student Alliance is focusing on voting. Hear about their efforts on FFRF’s Ask An Atheist, from their guest, Janelle Cronk, Campus Organizer for the Secular Student Alliance, to talk about the Secular America Votes campaign.

If you join or donate to a worthy secular org at this time, you can play on of my all-time anthems about the vote–from South Africa: One (Hu)Man One Vote by Johnny Clegg & Savuka in the background, as the “offertory,” if you like….

“This things come to us by way of much pain, don’t let us slip back into the dark…

One (hu)man, One vote! It’s the only way!”

Thanks for coming to today’s edition of the Sunday Service at Citizen Teacher, friend.

Peace & Love.

See you next week! Be well.

lisa eddy is an atheist, writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

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