Happy Independence Day, folks.
Our National Parks and Museums put me in a vaguely patriotic frame of mind. I’ve been thinking today as I visit these bastions of culture, art and natural places about the relationship between museums & cultural centers and the First Amendment.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
And some 14th century Japanese silk paintings of rakan, the five hundred Worth Ones, desciples of the Buddha. *wow!*
(and well, this blog post, too)
“…or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
But hypocrisy, and the right to discuss our history and our path forward are represented in these museums, too.
“By the 1900, traditional Lakota culture under threat. The government forbade the people to practice their ceremonial life. The Lakota overcame the ban by incorporating their traditions of parades, dances and giveaways into Fourth of July celebrations.” Museum of the American Indian.
I would argue that museum curators, docents, volunteers and park rangers are all soldiers in different kind of army, working protecting our national cultures. Their duties are to know, conserve , and disseminate information.
We got to see some national treasures from a different nation, war-torn and struggling. There’s a lot of discussion about where these kinds of ancient artifacts belong, but for now they’re safe:
Anyways, happy Fourth. Be well and safe and go visit a museum.