As South Carolina's Capitol grounds and other jurisdictions decide the fate of their most prominent emblems of past oppression and contemporary reaction, Stone Mountain guarantees that at least one Confederate icon will loom over the South's largest city for as long into the future as mankind can foresee.
Americans may be equal, but we are not all the same. It is the willingness of one American to defend the right of another to be different -- to think, to believe, to live in ways and to say things that one may vehemently dislike. But we will act to defend this differentness, this right to be free and unique -- even at risk of death.
It's the July 4th weekend. My wife, Kathy, and I have a bag full of red, white and blue pinwheels, some Stars and Stripes-brand snack cakes and a packet of mini-flags. We're nearly set for a holiday blowout in the country. Strangely, none of the stores is stocked with hot dogs or chips. No one around us seems to be doing the same.
The United States has the technological imperative to lead on clean energy. We have the economic imperative to engage in job creation that is good for all of creation. We have the moral responsibility to protect our planet for future generations. And with the pope's encyclical, science and technology truly can be the answer to our prayers.