Feb 16, 2020
The message was delivered on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar, Senior Minister, at the Humanist Service.
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” These words from Fredrick Douglass seem quite fitting for the current state of the American republic. We are a county that was founded on the principle of freedom and yet freedom, and its synonym liberty, have often been a source of conflict and confusion throughout the American experiment in democracy.
Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is celebrated on Monday, once wrote: “We all declare for liberty, but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.” Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass were both fighting for the freedom of people to be able to benefit from their own labor. Their opponents were fighting for the freedom to benefit from someone else’s labor. Despite their diametrically opposing definitions and goals, each side claimed to be fighting for freedom. As a community of free-thinkers we can learn a lot from this history about the nature of our own freedom today. Join me as we continue to explore this month’s theme of Choosing Freedom and celebrate Black History Month in a way that uplifts and enlightens us all.
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