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July 4th ruminations - SPK Live
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May 2011
Steve K
Wed, Jul. 4th, 2007 08:56 pm
July 4th ruminations

It ain't Canada Day, but I suppose it will do.  Happy Independence Day, everybody! ;-)

Reflecting on our country and its founding principles today, I have grave concerns about the recent past and the immediate future.  I recently read a book by Terry Goodkind in which one character regretfully reflected that she had "served evil just because it said it was good," and it makes me think of the current administration.  I do not think GWB is an evil person per se, but he has allowed evil to flourish in the name of "protection" and "God."  And for anyone who dismisses stories like those of the Pharoah or King Saul, I think Dick Cheney is a prime example of a person's heart being hardened.  I have read more than one interview in which a close friend or associate of Cheney's says they hardly recognize him nowadays, he's so different from the person they used to know.  Both of those Biblical figures thought they were acting rightly, but that doesn't mean that they were, and it's the same here.

Jesus said that people will know his followers by their love and by their actions.  You would think any person would have reservations about torture and such, but one would hope that a born-again Christian would feel even more trepidation about crossing these lines.  Like, I can see detaining potential terrorists for a few months or even a year.  But to deny them any semblance of due process for five years is not even civilized, let alone based in Christian principles.  Meanwhile, this is the administration who calls the Geneva Conventions "quaint" and throws them out the window.  How does this make us, or anyone else in the world for that matter, safer?  Meanwhile, they can't even be bothered to get legitimate warrants to do wiretaps on U.S. citizens.  How can we trust our leaders under such circumstances?

I have always thought it a horrible choice of the religious right to so firmly place themselves in the camp of the Republican Party.  Christians should follow a leader who will show compassion and wisdom, not blindly bind themselves to a political party.  For example, Newt Gingrich was having an affair at the time he was leading the charge to impeach Clinton regarding his testimony about Monica Lewinsky.  Just a tad bit hypocrticial in my view!  More recently, GWB has commuted the sentence of "Scooter" Libby -- a man convicted of lying and obstructing justice.  The thing that gets me is that there are people who fervently believe he should have been pardoned completely.  My only conclusion is that the party of "family values" (or at least a powerful faction within it) has no qualms about lying or putting their own interests first when it suits them.  I am not surprised at this, but I am dismayed when fellow believers then try to make excuses for such behavior.

It all starts small, then steamrolls.  For example, a news story this week about American flags talks about how legislators want to make it illegal to buy or sell U.S. flags that are made outside the country.  If they want to set up a system that will allow a company to put an approved and verified "Made in the USA" sticker on their products and then consumers want to look specifically for those signs, that is great.  But to deny people even a simple and straightforward choice like this is the very antithesis of freedom.  Don't people get this?  If a person wants to buy a quality product made in China or Latin America, shouldn't he or she be able to?  Why do we need "protection" from these things?  And what's the next thing to be denied in the name of "patriotism" or "safety?"

Even in the age of foreign product encroachment (i.e. Toyota now being named the top auto company) and oil-sponsored terrorism, the three major American car manufacturers fought tooth and nail to keep the gas mileage and fuel economy standards from becoming tougher.  People in office refuse to address concerns like Social Security or funding pork projects while people starve.  We need true wisdom and leadership right now, and to be fair to the current adminstration, I don't think any of the potential presidential candidates would be doing much better.  The thing that burns me up is that the Republican candidates now playing to "the base," meaning mostly conservative Christians, are using scare tactics and isolationism to buck up their campaigns.  Why are God-fearing people so fearful of everything else?  We all need to put our faith in God, not politicians and their own brand of terror.  My life is not where I want it to be right now, but at least it's mine to live and I don't want people dictating to me how to act or behave or believe.  I hope others will open their hearts and their eyes, and look with optimism towards the future instead of wallowing in the muck of today's spin and fearmongering.  God can do anything, as impossible as it may seem, so I guess all I can do is pray.

Tags: ,
Current Mood: worried worried


Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)

I think many people have forgotten what patriotism really is. Independence day is not just a day to wave a flag and light some sparklers because it's fun. Whereas that IS fun, it's a day to celebrate and remember what colonials had to risk to get the freedom we now have. Anyway, that's just a small opinion. This country's priorities seem to be getting more askew everyday. *sigh*

Steve K
Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)

Independence day is not just a day to wave a flag and light some sparklers because it's fun.
Not to toot my own horn too much, but that's kind of the way I feel as well, so that's why I posted this. I wanted to contribute something that would make people think and ponder not only where we are, but where we have been and where we are going. But yeah, it kills me when Paris Hilton has to release a statement suggesting that the media pay more attention to events in Iraq & Afghanistan instead of her trip to prison. *shakes head*

ReplyThread Parent
Thu, Jul. 5th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)

I agree with every word you wrote, and I can never understand when people who call themselves christians can't see these points. Not even basing off of religion these things are common sense.

Steve K
Fri, Jul. 6th, 2007 12:43 pm (UTC)

Thanks, man! Glad you concur and I appreciate you leaving a comment.

ReplyThread Parent
Fri, Jul. 6th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)

i agree. it's disheartening [at the very least] for me to see many friends conflate their own Christianity with the Religious Right/Republican Party [as they are almost interchangeable now]. It seems that truly Christ-like values have been forgotten in the face of profits and the consumption that spurs more profit.

apparently, too many of us have forgotten our history: every time religon and politics become too close, tyranny and persecution [in some form or another] appear...are we now doomed to repeat this? God forbid.

Steve K
Fri, Jul. 6th, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC)

Yeah, theocracy is not a good thing! We don't want to negate the role of religion (like separation of church/state fanatics), but we also want to ensure that we don't allow people to dictate what morality and patriotism are (especially when they come at these issues out of ambition and self-interest). Dick Cheney isn't the only one whose heart has been hardened, unfortunately. In refusing to think and contemplating God's Word on their own, they just hand over their vote, along with their free will, to politicians who would goad us with fear and greed. It's sad, but I don't think it's going to change anytime soon.

ReplyThread Parent