This essay was originally published in today’s edition of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper. Maria Shriver is an exceptional human being. She is also supremely talented. There are few people who have the ability to genuinely inspire and lift people up. Sunday Paper captures that spirit. It will never fail to inform, inspire and stir optimism. Our political debates in America are often dark. Our culture often seems rotten. Much of that is illusory. The reality is that there is good all around us. Sunday Paper is good for the spirit. I encourage you to subscribe.
The important distinction you make is the privelege with which we are endowed to assert our rights, to propagate the idea as germinated by those who would depart from a monarchy; this is ours to shape, and the clay is malleable.
Be well, all.
President Biden: "History, faith, and reason show the way--the way of unity. We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury."
May we rise above hatred, and embrace equal rights, love, unity, and freedom. May our spirits soar!
Perfectly captures what it means to live in the USA.
"Freedom in America means tolerance. It means freedom of speech, conscience, worship and thought. It also means responsibility and obligation to each other."
It's hope. Hope for ourselves, our children, our families. However we define family, community. We must continue to fight for equality and rights for all.
Thank you for the reminder that we, as a nation, have been far from perfect (definitely better for some than many others), yet striving towards a "more perfect Union" remains. Have a peaceful and harmonious July 4th.
Steve's thoughts and Maria's thoughts on this Sunday morning is wonderful. Love over hate, service over complaint. Certainly something to strive for. God bless America 🇺🇸
One Ukrainian official said that they are inspired by the American revolution that made USA the top nation. They are in the most bloodiest phase of the war having to clear trench by trench against an enemy with stock piles of explosives and superior air capabilities. They are losing their very best men daily. They understand that freedom does not come without the sacrifice. American story is one that gives hope in the darkest of time for those still fighting for their freedom.
Funny how "God-given rights" can and have been so easily taken away by those in political power claiming to speak for 'God'. I have a great distaste for the mixing of one's theology with public office or our secular government under its godless constitution. It is a very dangerous practice for everyone's well-being because it reeks of a theocratic leaning and all the religious dogma that entails. Under religious dogma of any persuasion, history informs us that tyranny of the masses is assured. Though adherents may think of themselves as peaceful, the fact remains that the Abrahamic faiths are grounded in violence and war.
Our rights do NOT come from 'God'!
Whenever one invokes the words from the Declaration of Independence (which is not an official document of the government of the United States): “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.", they are doing a great disservice to our nation, its heritage, and its Founding Fathers when they exclude the all-important line that follows: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". The Founders threw out the bizarre notion of "divine rights" entirely, and this fact must never be abandoned.
Evoked emotion in the form of tears in my eyes. Beautifully written.
I have subscribed to Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper since the pandemic. It is my favorite Sunday read. She recently won yet another Gracie award for it - well deserved in my opinion.
Excellent essay, Steve!
I hope you are right As a white, lesbian living here in this time I am devastated at the decision to allow open discrimination against the gay community. It is my sincere desire and hope that you are not just another white guy trying to sell me the lie of freedom and justice and EQUALITY. Right now it is a lie for so many of us. My question is so basic. What are you afraid of. Well I am afraid of white guys with guns. As they make us unequal and less than them because we are women and gay and black and brown they reveal their fear of becoming a minority group. Well it is coming and you can’t stop it no matter what you do. May peace and love prevail this 4th of July
I agree with all. We have our men’s pictures displayed on the buffet. We represent my father WWII, Son-in-laws father Korean War and my late husband Vietnam War.
I ask you, how do we tolerate the corruption and let what is going on slap these men in the face...along with the mass of men and wars before & after just these three? WE CAN’T let them do that...was their patriotism in vain for these fools. 🇺🇸🙏🏻🗽
If that doesn’t inspire your sense of American pride & Patriotism; won’t noth’in.
The beautiful part about that passage it that it leaves NO room for what about-ism.
Happy 4th to you and yours Steve! Thank you for this inspiring essay
Steve your writing blesses my life and enriched my year by everyone’s responses
And comments …Bless Our Freedoms
And Our Democracy HAPPY 4th, Marsha
Thank you Steve. Our “obligation“ to each should be spoken of more often. Respecting each American, or wanna-be American’s rights to Life Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is an obligation, that when filled, solves all pain. If we focus first on those values for ourselves and ALL others, the America we know could be, would be.
Thank you, Steve. You have given us a guide to what we need to think about on this Independence Day. We all are responsible for keeping our Republic strong.