July 26, 2010, on this blog: To bigotry no sanction
During Washington’s presidency, of course, most Americans did not “possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.” The man who wrote “to bigotry no sanction” also imagined he had the right to own other humans and the authority to vote on Martha’s behalf. But yet we can see here in Washington’s own words the inevitable, inexorable trajectory leading toward the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments.
Deprive any minority — whether a religious minority, an a-religious minority, a disenfranchised gender or ethnic group or race or sexual orientation — of the liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship and you will have diminished liberty, devaluing it into mere “toleration,” the condescending and conditional “indulgence” of the privileged ruling class. Screw that.
“To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”