I haven't indulged in a good old fashioned rant in quite awhile. I'll be honest, proceed with caution. Jackie's been working on her to do reading list and that can be a dangerous enterprise.
Ron Paul’s rise in the polls (brief I hope) has brought his hyper libertarian beliefs into sharp relief. As well as some pesky newsletters that JUST WON’T GO AWAY. Libertarian beliefs are fine, in theory. You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. But, that isn’t how it plays out is it?
I have the right to use my property any way I want and you have the right to put up with the fallout. That scenario is playing out south of here as a couple of developers try to turn a small butte into a quarry. Apparently they’ve started their work without the proper permits or giving any warning to the neighbors what was going to happen. Trouble with a situation like this is that the neighbors can’t prove they’ve been hurt until their property is worthless and their wells are going dry.
We have some fellow citizens who seem to believe they have a special set of beliefs that can’t be criticized. Their freedom of speech or right to criticize other’s speech or lifestyle is protected; you have the right to keep your mouth shut or leave the room. And you have no right to criticize if you don’t agree. You’re either infringing on their freedom of speech or religion, or both.Asking questions is evidence of either hate or persecution, or both.
To those who claim your faith or your politics is being persecuted in this country, I have some questions.
Have you had any problems building a new church, except for problems with traffic or noise if you’ve plunked down in say, a residential neighborhood?
Has your tax exempt status been revoked even though you’re tap dancing on the line that says you can’t recommend specific candidates?
Has the army showed up and kicked out the minister, then turned your church into a barracks?
Has your pastor been beaten or worse murdered for standing with the poor, the oppressed or those fighting for the right to organize a union or a farmer’s cooperative?
Have you or your neighbors had your outdoor communion service turned into a free fire killing zone by the National Guard or army?
Had any neighbors disappear because someone didn’t like what they’ve been reading or saying?
Have any Christian radio stations been blown up lately?
Had your newspapers or websites been shut down?
And to the very vocal Catholic hierarchy in this country. Had any archbishops murdered lately?
I suspect that the honest answer to almost all of these questions would be a resounding no.
Have over eighty thousand of our fellow citizens been murdered or disappeared by their fellow Christians because of their faith, their politics, their attempts to organize unions or farmer’s cooperatives. All this happened in El Salvador during the late seventies and early nineties in our little proxy war to “defeat” communism, socialism, Marxism whatever the hell we were fighting over. And that was just El Salvador. Let us not forget Honduras, Guatemala or Nicaragua.
Is this an extremely cranky entry? Yes, and I won’t apologize for it. I’ve just spent some time being reminded of what was done in our names and the cost not to our citizens but to innocent third parties. The very least we can do is thank the pure chance that landed us in this country and not one of the little ones caught in the middle.
And while this is not true of everyone under the umbrella of the radical right/fundagelicals I have to ask this final question. Which end of the rifles would you be on?