This Land is Your Lang

Vim and vigor.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

These are words that don’t fully exist without their partner terms.

On this Independence Day, I’m reminded that “America” and “freedom” go together – even though it might sometimes seem like an elusive ideal.

It’s a lot like God’s grace. It’s not a selective thing, only available to beautiful people, or those “in the know.” It’s open source, as they say in the computer world. Free to all, for anyone to use at will.

But in recent times, it might seem that some Americans believe that freedom doesn’t apply to everyone.

A man from the United Arab Emirates was mistaken for an ISIS member while visiting Ohio last week. Footage from the police body cam was unsettling. In response to this incident, the Emirati government issued an advisory to its citizens not to wear traditional garb while traveling.

They can’t dress the way they dress at home? That’s like telling me I can’t wear a cardigan and cat socks! I’ll be drummed out of the Lil Ole Lady Knitting Club!! 🙂

If freedom doesn’t apply to what people can wear, what does it apply to?

I’ve always admired people willing to wear their faith and heritage on their persons. Muslim women who wear hijabs, Jewish men who wear yarmulkes, Catholic priests and nuns. In a world that is often hostile to religion, they dare to proclaim that they believe in something! It’s outrageous.

Now, I haven’t held a seance, so I’m not speaking directly for the founding fathers, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what they would say if they were here today.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” applies to everyone. No exceptions.

We all came to this country for the same reason: to be ourselves. Being an American means we can think, speak, and dress the way we see fit.

And if I want to wear a Fedora and fuzzy slippers to the diner for the Early Bird? Well, why not? It’s still a free country.