Shatner the Canadian explains the preamble of the Constitution to us! Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to see me drag Star Trek into my posts leading up to the Fourth of July!
One of the “alternate Earth” episodes that became fairly common as the original Star Trek series proceeded, as explained by Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development, this episode featured an Earth where a cataclysmic war had driven the Americans, the Yangs, out of their cities and into primitive warbands. Chinese Communists, the Kohms, settled in America. Their technology was a few steps higher than the Yangs. The Yangs had been waging a war for generations to drive the Kohms from their land, and the episode coincided with the Yangs taking the last of “the Kohm places”.
Over the generations, the Yangs had forgotten almost all of their history and what little knowledge remained was restricted to priests and chieftains.
“Cloud William: Freedom?
James T. Kirk: Spock.
Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.
Cloud William: It is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.
James T. Kirk: Well, well, well. It is… our worship word, too.”
The Omega Glory illustrates that documents like the Constitution and Declaration retain their importance only when we understand both the words and the history behind the words. That is why one of the best ways that Americans can celebrate the Fourth is to read the Declaration, think about it and engage in debate about it. The Declaration is not meant to be an object of cult worship, but rather is a classic expression of how many Americans through the centuries have viewed Man and the State, and the ideas it expresses are just as relevant, and dangerous, today in 2009 as they were in 1776.