I resonate with this image I saw on Facebook, though it doesn't go far enough.
Yes, the horrendous Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade took away the freedom of women in about half the states to choose an abortion. Thankfully, Oregon isn't one of them.
But there's plenty of other threats to the values our country was founded on. We're in grave danger of losing them.
Democracy. The January 6 committee is doing a great job of revealing the details of how close Trump and his enablers came to overturning the 2020 presidential election won by Joe Biden. What's even scarier, though, is how Republicans across the country are working hard to make sure that the next anti-democracy coup attempt, probably in 2024 but possibly as early as this year's midterms, succeeds.
Further, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether state legislatures have the right to choose their own presidential electors even if the candidate they favor didn't win the popular vote in the state. This could mean that state judges and supreme courts would have no say in such an attack on democracy.
Women's right to health care. It's bad enough that so many states either have made abortion illegal or are about to do so. It's clear that if Republicans win the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2024 they'll ban abortion nationwide. Already abortion-banning red states are working on laws to prevent women from going to other states for an abortion. This is blatantly unconstitutional, but it's possible the Supreme Court would let them get away with it.
Protecting the environment. It used to be that both major political parties agreed that protecting the environment was a good thing, since everything we value -- life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness -- depends on preserving the natural systems that keep us alive and our economy functioning. In other words, conservatives used to believe in conserving our air, water, and natural resources.
No more. The Supreme Court has undermined the ability of the federal government to deal with the carbon pollution that threatens the habitability of our planet through global warming. Polls show that most Americans want to reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Sadly, our ability to do that has been diminished by an out-of-control Supreme Court that is functioning not as a legal body, but as an arm of the Republican Party.
Freedom to not be shot. Being 73, I'm old enough to remember when guns were used for hunting and target practice. I grew up in a rural community where the progression was BB gun, pellet gun, .22, deer rifle. No assault rifles. Very few handguns. We not only survived, we thrived, because mass shootings in schools or anywhere else were nonexistent.
Now the Republican Party and Supreme Court have decided that it's better to deny children and other people the right not to be shot and killed than to permit reasonable gun control measures. This doesn't increase personal freedom, it limits it, since the freedom to stay alive undergirds every other freedom.
Separation of church and state. Authoritarians like India's Prime Minister Modi like state-sponsored religions, in his case, Hinduism. In our country, increasingly, it's Christianity. The Supreme Court has ruled that a football coach had the right to pray in the middle of the field after games, surrounded by his team -- ignoring the fact that voluntary private prayer is fine, but coerced public prayer isn't. Atheists, Muslims, Jews and other non-Christians on his team would have felt they had to take part in the coach's praying. That's un-American.
I'm as patriotic as anybody. But I won't be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow. Or any day until our country demonstrates that it really cares about personal freedom and independence.