Years ago, when she was about 10, my daughter wrote a poem on slavery. While condemning it in no uncertain terms, she wrote that the enslaved man had a choice despite his bondage. To choose death over slavery, she wrote, echoing Patrick Henry. Remembering it was enough for me to write a response to the Edge Annual Question for 2007, "What are you optimistic about? Why?". "Growing up", I wrote, full of hope for the attitudes and values of my daughter's generation and beyond. I hoped that someday no child would feel the need to ask, "Why can't Tom marry Dick or Harry?".
When I came across what another ten year old in Arkhansas, Will Phillips, had done for the cause of liberty and one law for all, I felt vindicated:
It all started when he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in a West Fork, Arkansas elementary school.
Speaking to CNN's John Roberts on Monday, Will said he remained seated four straight days while his classmates repeated the words, "with liberty and justice for all."
"I was analyzing the meanings of it, because I want to be a lawyer," he said. "... There isn't really liberty and justice for all. There's ... Gays and lesbians can't marry. There's still a lot of racism and sexism in the world. Yeah."
Will Phillips says he wants to be a lawyer. I hope he will choose Constitutional Law as his field of work. He will do a far better job protecting the rights of his fellow men and women, than those "we stand up for nothing" politicians in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere around the world's capitals.