The Outstater: The Divide Between Liberty and Posture

December 23, 2017

“We believe diversity of thought, background, experience and people drive innovation. We promote an environment that is welcoming and conducive to the success of all. It is through our inclusive culture that we can attract the best employees, empower our customers and help our communities achieve great things.” — Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana’s “Commitment and Inclusivity Pledge”

(For the use of the membership only.)

IT WAS TELLING that a headline writer this week chose the word “divisive” to describe a Fort Wayne councilman’s quoting of the Declaration of Independence. The councilman was explaining why he opposed a resolution declaring his city “inclusive,” saying that he already had done so in taking his oath of office. The oath, of course, includes adherence to the belief that “all men are created equal.”

The “divide” that the headline writer noted is between two amalgamizing groups: Those who understand the exceptionalism in those words for people of all color and belief; and those who think freedom must be assigned in intricately weighted ways not to individuals but to ever-shifting and politically designated groups and cultures.

It would have been futile for the two councilmen voting in opposition to have cited historical authority that the later course marks a path to disaster. The majority was intent on making a statement, setting a posture, fixing a pose. In any case, it was just a resolution.

Or was it? A “yes” vote required tacit acceptance of the position that the Declaration and other founding documents are defunct or at least in need of serious bolstering — perhaps even surgery. They were written, after all, by white men at a time when slavery was a norm.

To counter that this is incidental rather than determinant is to invite derision these days. More must be done, is the demand of fashionable thinkers such as News-Sentinel columnist Kevin Leininger, oath must be piled upon oath, pledge upon pledge, to what effect being anybody’s guess.

So we have our divide. Take care on which side you fall. Liberty depends on it.

— Craig Ladwig


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