Friday, September 16, 2005

John Hancock Would Be Proud

You know, there has been a lot of discussion in the paper and on TV about the website The Whitehouse Press corps was even asked about it. All this discussion got me to thinking about the musical 1776.

For those of you who not familiar with 1776 is about the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence. There is one particular line towards the end of the play spoken by the Representative from Rhode Island (Stephen Hopkins I believe) that keeps playing in my head. As the play ends everyone in Congress signing the Declaration, however, Franklin says something like (and I'm paraphrasing):

I want to see the face of each man as he signs
What I took this to mean was that putting your signature was such an important step that Hopkins wanted to be sure that each man was willing to stand up to the contents of the document he was affixing his signature to. The document is still available so everyone everywhere can see who supported freedom for this country.

I see some similarities to this "new" amendment which the Mass "Family" group has initiated. The one different is that this "new" document is taking away rights from a group of Americans however the signature process is still the same. When one affixes his/her signature to that document they will forever be associated with promoting discrimination for a certain group of people. Unlike the Congress in 1776, the signers of this anti-gay amendment want to do it in darkness and not have people know that they have stood up for discrimination. Regardless, all the people who sign the petition will be made public. Know Thy is just doing exactly what Stephen Hopkins did all those years ago.


Anonymous said...

When was the last time you saw a roving gang of angry homosexuals rough up some straight people? It's the homophobes who bash and discriminate against gays and lesbians not the other way around. These people want to discriminate in private and unwilling to stand up for their bigotry. Turn to the Wedding page of your local paper and see the proud gay couples who are happy to announce to the world that they support equal marriage rights.

Boston Bud said...

I wanted to make a correction to the above post. A quick search reveals the following:

Forty-nine-year-old William Ellery, Rhode Island's other congressional delegate, was curious to see how the other delegates would experience this grave undertaking, and he watched each of their faces carefully. Stephen Hopkins was then sixty-nine and not in the best of health. A paralytic affliction compelled him to use his left hand to guide his right as he signed, and the signature was shaky. Perhaps reacting to something he saw in Ellery's face, he remarked, "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."

The character William Ellery does not appear in 1776 so their attributed his actions to a character from RI they did include.

Mark D. Snyder said...

thats right!

Anonymous said...

great post! I couldn't have said it better. Thanks keeping watch of massresistance!