WASHINGTON D.C. – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), in a landmark decision, legalized same sex marriage in the United States of America. On Friday, June 26, SCOTUS issued its 5-4 opinion on the Obergefell v. Hodges case. Kennedy delivered the opinion, opening with, “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity.” Through that opinion, SCOTUS reversed the decision of the lower Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which had upheld same sex marriage bans in four states: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. SCOTUS ruled these bans unconstitutional, saying:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.
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Part of Southern culture is a deep loyalty to one’s alma mater. That loyalty is often synonymous with kinship, sister or brotherhood and community. Although this deep attachment is most obvious during big sporting events, it lasts long after the lights are dimmed on any playing field.
Today, July 4th, is Independence Day in the United States, the nationally celebrated mark of freedom in this country from the Kingdom of Great Britain. On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and we begun a history of celebration of freedom, an ideal of freedom. Recent Supreme Court rulings bring many questions to the forefront about that ideal of freedom, and the idea that the United States has a history of writing social policy that does not actually equate to freedom for the ethnic minorities within this country. Slavery was still a legal institution here while we simultaneously adopted the declaration and celebrated freedom for Americans. Since the Declaration of Independence, and other such policies, did not give freedoms and rights to African Americans, what social and government policies did? And how important are those today?
TWH – Today is the second Sunday in May which means its Mother’s Day for Americans as well as others around the world. Writers often attribute this modern celebration to ancient festivals honoring the mother Goddess or Christian tributes to the Virgin Mary. While most religious cultures did or do recognize maternity in some way, the connections between any of these sacred celebrations and our modern secular holiday are tenuous at best. Some believe that the American holiday finds its earliest roots in an old English religious tradition called “Mothering Sunday.” On the fourth Sunday of Lent, Christians journeyed far and wide to a “mother” cathedral rather than worshiping in their local “daughter” parish. Over time the day evolved into a secular holiday during which children gave gifts to their mothers. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that there was a call for a uniquely American Mother’s Day celebration.