Blog friend Dave posted an interesting essay in June which I just came across while perusing his blog (my favored morning occupation while sipping my coffee after the swim – a blog a day keeps the narcissism away). His post was about the right’s misplaced celebration of the Founders as unerring. Thinking of today’s un-American kerfuffle about the Muslim center in lower Manhattan (I don’t use the term Ground Zero and I don’t know why. Must be the New Yorker in me.), I liked this bit :
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his essay “Tolerance”: “If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England (America).”
We have always been the inspiring example to the rest of the world of what a tolerant society looks like – hundreds of millions have striven to be like us. I don’t ever want to see that – the best in us – go away. But many apparently do.