Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 28
July 12, 2021
1776, 1833, 1865 and Slavery
This week I finished the last of my July 4 rituals. There are three that I have. Of course, I have a party. That is the most important one. It was family only a year ago because of the Covid Plague. The other two are to watch “Gettysburg.” Many people don’t know that this was fought from July 1-3 and the following day, July 4th, came the fall of Vicksburg to the forces of General Grant. With these losses, the defeat of the confederacy was all but certain.
My third ritual is to watch the movie “1776” which chronicles the writing of the Declaration of Independence. I was raised to honor the men who had the courage to break away from England and form our republic. This movie portraits the flaws of these men and their desire to be free while some owned slaves and others tolerated the owning of slaves. In order to have unity in this revolution, slavery was tolerated. Thomas Jefferson’s words, “All men are created equal” really meant “All White Men are created equal.” I wonder if I would enjoy watching this movie if I was a descendent of those slaves and I wonder how many black people I know could watch this movie without becoming upset and angry.
It is a sad irony that had we not had our revolution the slaves that Americans held would have been freed far earlier than they were. Our slaves waited ninety years to be free. It took the deaths of 750,000 Americans, 2.5% of the population to win freedom for slaves in 1865. Had we remained part of England these slaves would have been freed in 1833. That is the year that the British Parliament outlawed slavery.
Yes, I still honor our founding fathers. They indeed had a vision of democracy over monarchy. Perhaps the best was we can honor their vision is to bring it to full flower. Even today, in some places in our nation, all people are not treated equally. Not every voice is given the same attention. In some places there is not justice for all. Maybe establishing justice for all, in every part of our nation is the job of our generation. We, inspired by our fore-bearers, can bring this bud of a dream into full flower.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/