Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

In honor of this holiday, I'd like to draw your attention to the Treaty of Tripoli, and in particular Article 11 thereof. It was written in 1796, and introduced to the Senate in 1797 - where it was approved unanimously. Here is Article 11:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Here's celebrating political freedom, religious freedom, and the Great Experiment. Happy Fourth of July! (And hey, if you happen to be a citizen of a country which doesn't celebrate it - which would, after all, be most of the world - then I hope you have a great day anyway!)

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