Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Other

Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

At this time of year, I start thinking about how the Judeo-Christian basis for my government affects my relationship with my country. The fact that I do not believe in a higher power does not change my feelings about my country. I desperately love my country and I have an extreme amount of patriotism, but I still feel like I am not part of it.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  – The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies, July 4, 1776

The point at which they ostracized me because of my religious beliefs wasn’t the first time that I felt like The Other. The wording of our precious historical documents is primarily male-based, so on that basic level, I am The Other because of my gender. However, even if I were male, I suspect that I would still feel like The Other.

I believe that the feeling of The Other is part of us as humans. I believe it is the reason that we band together in tribes, in churches, at sports events and with countries. We all feel alone and separate in the world and we want to be included in something greater than all of us.

The fact that our Declaration of Independence states that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights is not an issue for me. I have spent my entire life translating truths so that I can swallow them. I have edited so many things so that I can understand them on a purely logical and rational basis that editing out “Creator” and accepting that my country believes that I am equal and deserving of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is enough for me.

Additionally, I don’t really believe in all that history stuff. Some guys got together, created our country and tried their darndest to make it a good one. I hold the literal translation of what they wrote with the same skepticism that I hold the literal translation of the Bible. Some guys a long time ago, who had no relation or inkling of me, said some stuff. Every once and a while, I can find truth and honor among their writings, but most of it feels hollow and unconnected to me. I’m grateful that my country believes in some of those truths, but I mostly feel like The Other.


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