On Feb. 14 each year America celebrates Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day originated from the Christian identification of Saint Valentine who promoted love. He was martyred by the Romans in the 14th century.
Valentine’s Day is only one of the multitudes of celebrations stemming from the practice of Christianity that for centuries have been part of American society. America celebrates Mardi Gras “Lent” and Halloween, which originate from All Souls Day.
Christmas is the celebration of Saint Nicholas and the birth of Jesus. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection. All of these are significant on their own, but more important, collective they represent creation of a tradition and the culture of American society.
The original American culture that has preserved and protected America’s society for over 400 years is made up from honoring and celebrating icons from the past. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and even April Fools Day are celebrations that built American culture.
All of these days of celebration have had an undertone of benevolence. People gather together and exchange gifts, hold parades, and rejoice with gratitude to those who came before us. This has been going on for centuries, and has effectively tied us together creating “we the people.”
And in the construction of “we the people” are icons that may be repugnant to those who weren’t treated equally. But those repugnant icons are worthy of existence for the value of immortalizing the failures, which forever will be a significant part of the culture of “we the people.” Both the good and the bad through the centuries must remain visible so the current society can understand that the perfection of the culture was always the goal.
A nation that cannot trace the past with visible icons to remind it of what was in the struggle to build, preserve and perfect its culture is exposed to repeating the failures of inequality as the demographics of the population evolve. If a new majority takes the leadership role and control they’re as subject to exercising inequitable treatment of a minority as did their predecessor.
There’s danger in how the traditional culture is being attacked by malcontents, who perceive themselves as victims and wish to destroy the icons and denigrate the traditional celebrations. These aren’t people promoting benevolence. They demonstrate vindictiveness, while taking a sledgehammer to a statue, burning of a flag, urinating on a crucifix, and insulting the national anthem.
It’s obvious these malcontents are intending to dispose of the traditional culture instead of contribution to and improve it with inclusion of their benevolent contributions. When you see, hear, or encounter an unpleasant or disparaging icon put it in perspective as just one of the elements in the construction and continuing effort to improve on what’s currently the best hope of humanity — the American experiment.