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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Silence? Not while I still have the right to speak.

My mother (and practically everyone else who knows me) will tell you that I talk too much. I will admit that I talk too much. I have always viewed that as a handicap of sorts, and in a way it can be because it occasionally keeps me from listening to important things.
But recently I have been thinking quite a bit. About that and about other things. Because of recent paradigm shifts in both our country and our world, I have had to examine what I truly believe and what that means in terms of the way I should act and the things I should say.
Our founding fathers, whether they believed in God as I do or not, founded this nation on values that are largely based in the Judeo-Christian ethics. They believed that man should be free to take advantage of opportunity, but ultimately responsible for what he made of said opportunity. They believed that justice should be sure and swift, and punishment for the guilty fair. They believed that the rights of one should not impinge the freedoms of many. And they believed that men, though flawed, were capable of governing themselves toward those ends. Those ideas- outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights- are what good, strong, passionate Americans have fought and died to earn and protect.
Those rights are what the uneducated masses are attempting at this moment to hand back to the federal government. And make no mistake, if we give our rights to the government, we WILL NOT be getting them back.
Doesn't anyone remember the "American Dream?" The idea that anyone could come to America with nothing and by the sweat of his own brow build an empire? That idea only worked because America promised something that no other nation could offer: equality of opportunity. America promised that all men under God were created equal, and would be afforded life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We now live in a world of instant gratification, where people seek instead of equality of opportunity, equality of results. They want what Mr. Jones has worked a lifetime to earn, but somehow feel justified in not doing the same work to earn it. They want to be allowed to pursue happiness from the comfort of a LaZBoy recliner and they expect someone else to pay for it.
We live in a country where people expect to be given individual rights and freedoms without cost, without consideration, without personal responsibility. And because of this our freedoms become worthless.

Freedom of speech? Don't make me laugh. Why is it that a member of the military can be punished for *owning* an Obama Chia Pet? (Yes, folks, this is true. And we're talking the same punishment afforded one who gets a DUI.) Why has FoxNews been ridiculed for posting commentary and interviews that are middle-of-the-road or (God help us) viewed as right wing? For any news source to be fair and balanced, wouldn't they have to air something that was right wing?

Freedom to gather and peaceably protest? This one has been under fire for over a century. Woodrow Wilson even arrested people marching for women's suffrage because "they stepped on the White House lawn" And God forbid you protest the killing of the unborn, or gay marriage, or a healthcare bill that will turn us into a nation of government-program-addicts. And don't even get me started on the Tea-Party movement. What is this world coming to when educated people can ask their government ("of the people, by the people and for the people", remember?) to listen to the voices of millions over the socialist rants of the few?
If we protest the slaughter of the unborn, or gay marriage, the general public cries foul. Why? Because we are intolerant. But we should be intolerant. This nation was founded on intolerance. The intolerance of tyranny. The intolerance of unilateral government. The intolerance of oppression. And people, we are not oppressing the gay and lesbian community by opposing gay marriage. For the most part we are disagreeing on semantics. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That is the definition. Deal with it. A civil union affords all the same civil rights as a marriage, but allows for the alternative lifestyle. If you are not happy with that, ask yourself if you are crusading for equal rights or seeking the validation of your choices. Because the government should not be required to give you that. And as far as the unborn are concerned, we are simply voicing an opposition to a virtual death penalty being imposed on people whose parents should be held accountable for their actions.

Freedom of religion? Only if you believe in Oprah's god - who apparently "would never send anyone to hell." Everyone look to Texas for a minute and realize the enormity of what is happening to their state board of education. There is a crusade going to take out references to the Judeo Christian ethics that provide the backbone of our nation. Why did the Pilgrims come to America? It doesn't matter, they just did. Why is it illegal to kill people? It doesn't matter, it just is. Why was it wrong to do what Hitler did? get the idea. How do we instill values in our children if we allow the people educating to sanitize the information? Part of the crusade is based on the idea that racist ideals are promoted in teaching American history. Guess what? History is racist. Because humans are flawed individuals. Part of learning from history is learning not to make the same mistakes. If you don't allow them to see the true depth of those mistakes, you have doomed them to repitition.

The bottom line: Teach your children values at home and they will take them out into the world. Expect the government to hand you those values with your welfare check and your free cheese, and we will have a nation that stands for nothing and can stand up against no one. "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

So I ask myself if I really do talk too much if this is what I have to say. And I remember one other thing. "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." Good men in America, your silence is deafening.

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