Failing Memories: December 7,1941 and American Freedoms

The memory of one of the most tragic days in United States history is fading into the fog of old memories. One news article described it as another generations 9/11.
It is the way of life. Events once thought to be of monumental significance pale against the ravages of time.  The numbers of those most affected slowly eroded by mortality.
That day will come for 9/11 as well.
Someday, those of us who lived through that time in history will follow the same path into death.
What I dread most is not my mortality. What I despair of most is what I see happening to this country. Americans that so cherish their freedoms, paid for in the blood of Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Guadalcanal, Chosin, Hue, Iraq, Afghanistan, would deny the same freedoms to others because of false perception of differences. Such actions dishonor the heroism of those that fought the wars to preserve the freedoms of this country.
Freedoms promised to all by our laws and Constitution.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President that guided the country through that terrible time after the Pearl Harbor attack, once said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”
That fear is now gripping this nation. The once bright shining city on the hill, the beacon of freedom that has served this country so well, would cover the light in order to deny those same freedoms to others because some think we should be afraid.
We did not spend the blood of our men and women in fighting those that attacked us just so someday we would deny freedom to an entire group because we are afraid of a few.
Or do this simply because of a perception that one particular religion is more dangerous than another.
15000 Arab Americans fought in World War II, many of them Muslim. Arlington Cemetery has a number of American heroes who served with valor and distinction earning some of the highest military medals for valor. And they were of the Muslim faith, buried next to Christians, Jews, and Atheists. Americans of all faiths have served this country.
Arlington does not refuse to accept dead Americans by reason of faith or race or ethnic origin, why would America do that the living?
They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the very freedom some of their fellow Americans would deny to others for no other reason but fear..
Where has our courage gone?
Let me be clear about something. Those that seek to destroy us, those that follow some deranged interpretation of religion, any religion, who seek to impose their beliefs on us by force, know well that the US will always win such a battle.
We embrace our freedom. We are willing to share it with those that seek the same and are willing to do anything we have to do to protect it. We will die if we must, but our death will not come without cost.
We will visit death on you if you choose to try to take our freedom and it will be swift and terrible.
What we cannot do is give up any of our principles out of fear. It is not any one faith which poses a danger to this country. It is, as Roosevelt said, fear. A fear which blinds us to the greatness within this nation.
 E Pluribus Unum.
The real danger lies in those that would choose between the right religion and the wrong religion based on their own prejudices and call that being American.
Nothing in more un-American than that.

The Familiar Face of Terrorism

The threat of terrorist attacks in this country is growing. Evidence that organized, well-armed, well-equipped groups have infiltrated America, bent on imposing their violent interpretation of their faith on the rest of the world, is right in front of our noses.

And they have killed Americans.

It is an American Jihad. Born and bred here. Yet we refuse to call it by its name, Radical Christianity, because it is the same Christian religion many would like to see as the basis of our government.

Radical Christians, using their interpretations of Biblical passages as justification, target and kill the doctors, nurses, and patients of places such as Planned Parenthood. They kill police officers trying to protect those innocent people.

Because God told them to.

Comparing them to the Islamic terrorists seeking martyrdom we so easily hate is not unfair, it is necessary.

The xenophobic fear promulgated by right-wing politicians against fulfilling our humanitarian obligations to the refugee crisis cite the danger of terrorists getting into the US.

I don’t hear anyone saying we should screen Christians out of the refugees.

The terrorists are already here. We bred them. We tolerate them because they are Christian. They do not represent the majority of the faithful. But they do portend the danger of a religious based government. Any religious based government.

If you think that right wing Christian fundamentalists, given the reins of Government, would not impose a similar restriction on our lives as the ones Radical Islamists would do in similar circumstances, you are terribly naive.

Don’t think it can happen? Just look in Kentucky or Texas or South Carolina, or Congress for the matter, for attempts at just such a thing

In 1954, during the Cold War, to reinforce the differences between ourselves and the ‘godless’ communists, Congress added the words “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Even though the original, written by a minister, did not include any such reference.

In 1956, the motto of the United States was changed from E Pluribus Unum to In God We Trust. We share the same motto with the country of Nicaragua, En Dios Confiamos.  In 1956, that was a good example to follow.

I think it long past the time we return to the origins of this great nation and once again embrace a philosophy of Out of Many, One.

Think about it. Out of many, religions, philosophies, languages, ethnicities, race, traditions, place of origin, thoughts and beliefs, comes One.

America. The total being greater than the sum of its parts.

Otherwise, the differences that separate us from those who use force to impose their interpretation of truth on others, be it from a Bible or a Quran will disappear.

To refuse to call the evil of Radical Christianity by its true name, terrorism, is to allow it to grow. I do not want to live in an America based on exclusion rather than inclusion. I want to be part of the many that add to the One.