The inalienable right to liberty

The people of the thirteen colonies in America felt oppressed by the king of England. So it should be no surprise that in the declaration of Independence the founding fathers declared that life and liberty were given by the Creator as inalienable rights. An inalienable right is supposed to be so absolute that it can not be taken away. In the beginning it seems that the rights were granted to a privileged few.

Only white males over the age of 21 had the right to life and liberty; They were considered adult males! The rights of all others were limited.   The rights of males under 21 were limited; they were immature males! The rights of all women were limited; they were female! Native Americans of either sex had no rights; they did not own the land on which they lived!  Slaves had absolutely no rights; they were mere property!  To be privileged in early America one had best be a mature white male and propertied.

We can rejoice because of the changes that have taken place since the beginning of the new nation. Consider  that males over age 18 are now considered to be mature adults; rights have been given to women, but too few male-dominated state legislatures approved an equal rights amendment to the constitution. Slaves have been freed, but considered 2nd. class citizens by many.  Native Americans must fight non violently to preserve their sacred sites and protect the environment.

Things happen that make the Old Fool angry. I would like to talk to you face to face.  Embedding a YouTube message in a blog was the nearest to a face to face encounter that I could think of.  So with the webmasters skill and patience, and my diligence, the first such video is below.  It is only 1 minute and 11 seconds long. So check it out:

I wrote the above before embedding the video.  From Thursday evening to Saturday noon I attended the Minority Ministries Council’s reunion held in Greencroft’s community center.  I’m sure the event will be publicized throughout Mennonite Media.  I lived through the “sixties” and I knew some of the elders who were celebrated as they told their stories.  Some remembered me as the “bishop.”  We experienced  sacred moments that cannot be captured in word or picture.

Gospel and hist’ry
send to your friends near and far
to people with power 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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4 Responses to The inalienable right to liberty

  1. Congratulations on first video. See, it can be done. Even if you are over 90. Keep up the good work.

  2. Rohrer Eshleman says:

    Thank you, for your insight again! That # 1 video is right on the mark. Also, how I personally respond to anger determines my maturity in the Jesus Way. Each of us will have our own opinions about how to respond to life’s experiences.

  3. Wilmer Lehman says:

    Works fine for me. Nice to see your face.

  4. Bob Zook says:

    Congratulations on the video Martin and very well said. I would enjoy more videos of you speaking your heart with wisdom.

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