5
Jul
2005

Jefferson, God, and the 4th of July

07/04/05

America's July 4th holiday celebrates Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. But only 2 percent of Americans consider him the greatest president, while 11 percent think William Jefferson Clinton deserves that title. If educated Americans are asked what the Declaration is all about, many quote: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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.' Among the most famous words ever written, yet a 10/03 poll told us that 66 percent of adult Americans don't know it's from the Declaration. (It also reported 53 percent not knowing that the first 10 amendments are the Bill of Rights.) George Gallup, Jr. is correct: 'These findings are cause for deep concern. If knowledge of the basic components of American history and civics are lost, then the American system of representative democracy could be lost as well.' Gallup's stricture must be amended to make it even harsher. Scroll Jefferson up to our day. He would say that our US already bears no resemblance to his hopes for his new republic...

http://www.counterpunch.org/brenner07022005.html

from CounterPunch, by Lenni Brenner


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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