On the Flaws of “Founding Father-ism”

It seems to me that “Founding Father-ism” as I call it, is fundamentally flawed in several ways.

By “Founding Father-ism”; I refer to the practice of referencing “the Founding Fathers” as a source of authority to guide contemporary thought or practice. Though on the surface, referencing the Founding Fathers as a guide for contemporary practice and social philosophy may seem practical, yet I suggest that upon critical examination and scrutiny such is not actually the case.

“Founding Father-ism” is problematic in that such assumes a unity among the aforementioned, when anything but was in fact the case.

Especially the Constitution itself was a source of hot debate, as evidenced by “The Federalist Papers” among other Constitutional era writings. Consider that it took two years after the convening of The Constitutional Convention in order to secure the minimum quota of nine states (out of 13) to ratify the Constitution as the law of the land. Even then, there were many private citizens and public dignitaries who succumbed to Constitutional authority begrudgingly and hesitantly. For good reason, our Constitutional era was labeled “The Great Experiment”, and so it continues to be.

“Founding Father-ism” is problematic in that the Founding Fathers were limited by that which limits us all: They were limited by their humanity.

My point here is simple: The “Founding Fathers” were no better or worse, smarter or naive, biased or unbiased than anyone else. They were simply people, and thus given to error and poor judgment, just as we all are likewise so. This point may sound basic, yet herein lies one of the fundamental flaws of “Founding Father-ism”: The assumption that those early dignitaries were somehow more enlightened or intelligent than anyone else. Such is simply not the case.

“Founding Father-ism” is problematic in that many of the Founding Fathers were guilty of endorsing and participating in extreme violations of human rights.

Keep in mind, that the Founding Fathers included those involved in many of the various aspects of slavery, and there is no reason to believe that they would willingly have abolished the inhumane practice. In the light of the fact that to the Founding Fathers, the phrase “All men” actually referred to all white land owning males over the age of 21, then they can hardly be regarded as a reliable standard as to social values.

“Founding Father-ism” is problematic in that the Founding Fathers were limited by 225 years less experience necessary to guide many social situations of the 21st Century. In this regard, their input in many contemporary circumstances is as impractical as would be our input into the affairs of a society of the mid 23rd Century!!!

The Founding Fathers had no way of conceiving of Finance Capitalism or Multilevel Corporations on a scale known exclusively in our contemporary era.

They had no concept of AK47’s, Nuclear Weaponry, school shootings or even Climate Change.

Ours is a different world than theirs, ours are different issues and affairs than theirs, and ours frankly is a more educated and experienced perspective than are those of the Founding Fathers.

Conclusion:

“Founding Father-ism” is a mode of thought and presentation of argument which functions by catch phrases and references to people who have been dead and gone for well over a Century, and whose values we have had to improve upon time and again in an ongoing quest to be a humane, civilized, and respectful society.

To that end we must always be true, and by no means should the writings of folks who never even saw the effects of a school shooting, an airplane, or a nuclear bomb restrict our judgment in dealing with social problems and issues of the 21st Century.

On The Need For Resistance

Generally and historically speaking, those who benefit from social injustice in this country have not been known to make the changes necessary in order to transition a morally deficient system or practice into that of fairness and equal rights, without being absolutely forced to do so.

Slavery in this country did not end due to the proactive remorse of those who were benefiting from the degradation and exploitation of their fellow being.

Slavery ended because those who were benefiting from a moral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Child labor in this country did not end due to the soft hearts of those who were working 9 and 10 year old children full 10 hours and more shifts for their own personal profit.

Child labor ended because those who were benefiting from an immoral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Women in this country did not gain the right to vote because misogynistic and patriarchal men suddenly saw the error of their ways, thus proactively and voluntarily allowing women the right to become a part of the political process.

The patriarchs and misogynists who had prevented women the right to vote in this country were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

African Americans in this country did not gain the right to equal education and equal public rights as most every other race because the white public suddenly felt remorse for centuries of social oppression of the black community.

African Americans in this country secured the right to equal education and equal public rights because racists and bigots were forced to the the right thing, and against their will at that.

Our national history is such that moral progress comes about because and when those who are benefiting from social injustice are forced to do the right thing.

Furthermore, (and perhaps most importantly) social progress and just amends have almost always been precipitated by pressure from the oppressed upon those who benefit from social injustice.

When and only when the oppressed speak out and resist being the victims of social injustice, then and only then has there tended to be necessary social change towards realized social justice.

Our nation’s history being a matter of record and reality, there is no reason to assume that those of our society who benefit from social injustice will ever voluntarily and willingly give way to a system of social and economic justice, unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

And on the same premise, we would be naive and foolish to assume that social and economic injustices will ever be set right unless and until the victims of social and economic justice continue to speak out and collectively resist those who exploit lives and daily labor for their own benefit.

We must continue to speak out.
We must continue to write.
We must continue to protest.

Those of our country who benefit from a system of social and economic injustice simply have to be forced to do the right thing, even if it is against their will to do so.

Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever give in.

An Ode To The Arawak

Several swam out that day to greet,
The ship that sailed in from the sea.
Like a welcoming committee,
Greeting aliens from a distant galaxy.

Their kindness and gentleness,
Were met with violence and force.
All impending afflictions and brutality,
Were in the name of God and flag of course.

There were women who were raped.
And the men were enslaved.
Those uncultured heathens soon learned,
The way civilized people behave.

The quest was to find gold,
To take back to the Queen.
The natives were forced to dig in caves.
While being bullied and treated mean.

If any enslaved laborer failed to produce,
A quota of gold that would satisfy.
His hands were simply cut off,
And he was allowed to bleed until he died.

The misery and the suffering,
The massacres, tortures, and the rapes.
Were so much to bear,
Many sought suicide as an escape.

O if only the natives had understood,
Their noble place in world history.
Surely then they would have been proud,
To endure a purposeful misery.

O if only the natives had understood,
And come to the realization,
That their suffering was justified,
In the name of God, and Western Civilization.

Several swam out that day to greet,
The ship that sailed in from the sea.
Like a welcoming committee,
Greeting aliens from a distant galaxy…..

On Public Meetings and the Right to Pray

I offer this recommendation as to the proceedings of any community meeting (City Council, School Board, etc).

Let each meeting be opened with a prayer addressed to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ by a Christian Minister or a representative of the Christian community.

Followed by a prayer by a member of the Jewish community, addressed specifically to Jehovah.

Followed by a prayer to Allah by a member of the Muslim community.

Followed by a tossing of bones or the taunting of a political opponent with a gris gris by a member of the Voodoo community.

Followed by an oration by a member of the Asian community to their deity, accompanied by tossing salt in each corner of the room if necessary.

The Hindu and any Native American representatives should be permitted their moment of public prayer and/or meditation whichever the case may be.

A member of the Zen Buddhist should be allowed equal time to sit/meditate, with the burning of incense as desired.

And then the Satanists should be allowed to pray to Satan, any Pastafarians should be allowed to call upon His Noodleness for guidance from the holy buffet in the sky, and by all means the Bokonists should be allowed their time for public oration (No public rubbing of bare feet without a Permit,for there simply must be SOME sense of order!)

Of course, the Humanists should be allowed time to make their plea to the crowd, as the Humanist would seek only the guidance of clear minded humanity in search of communal good for the business at hand.

Speaking of the business at hand, once each group has been adequately represented by a public prayer and/or plea on behalf of their religious/social view, then FINALLY let the meeting be called to order and the business at hand be discussed, deliberated, and decided upon.

HOWEVER, time must be allowed at the end of the meeting for the Christian, the Jew, Muslim, the Voodoo-ite, the Asian, the Hindu, the Native American, the Zen Buddhist, the Satanist, the Pastafarian, the Bokonist, and even the Humanist to have the opportunity for a closing prayer/oration/meditation; whatever the case may be.

Now, I only offer this format as a suggestion.

Of course, there is an alternate thought:

Call the community meeting to order, discuss the agenda and do the bidding of the purpose of such a “meeting of the minds”, and when done, go home, all the while leaving prayers and religious practices for private homes and private meeting places where such belong.

Just a thought.

A Call to Harm

The right to pray for the successful extraction of pertinent information from the enemy by our enhanced interrogation personnel (aka: Torturers); and the right to pray for the steady aim of our snipers as they cut unsuspecting people down dead in their tracks, and the right to pray for the success of our trained assassins in the execution of their sworn duty, and the right to pray for a direct strike by our drones as they eliminate overpopulation in rural villages by killing men, women, and children alike; and the general right to pray for “our side” to prevail with blood on our hands and praise for God on our lips; must ever remain the sacred right of all peaceful and spiritual peoples; from coast to coast.

Amen.