Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When Did People Get So Mean?

I’m not one to keep my mouth shut when it comes to politics, as many of you know. If I was someone who dwelled on labels, I’d have several attached to me that might indeed raise fear and loathing in others: green, tree hugger, pro-choice, feminist, and….here it comes……liberal.

I’m not against paying taxes. I just wish there were boxes on my tax return I could check so I could say how I wanted my money spent: “yes” on making our schools better and “no” on weapons of any kind, for example. I still like Jerry Brown’s flat tax idea.

Have we forgotten that almost all of us are the offspring of immigrants? My grandfather was sent to America because he lived too close to the battles of the Catholics and Protestants in the United Kingdom. He took easily to farm work, became a successful dairy farmer, came to own several dairy farms. Was it easier for him because his accent was not so difficult to understand and his skin color light?

As a consumer of healthcare services and one who worked in healthcare for twenty years, guess what folks? The system needs fixing. Desperately. It’s too late even. We’re already paying the price for those who have gone too long without healthcare.

So where is this rant leading? Lately I have been bombarded with emails bashing President Obama and his policies. I’ve deleted many, asked to be excluded from lists, even called a cousin and tried to have a conversation about why such emails frighten me, especially the ones that appear to be extremely racist and full of incendiary language and information that simply isn’t factual.

Many of these emails dwell on what our founding fathers envisioned for our country, except for one huge omission: the separation of church and state. Those patriots founded a new nation based on the principal that everyone was free to practice the religion of their choice, after living in an environment where one religion was the expected, accepted way of life. They knew from experience this did not work; thus, separation of church and state.

Emails I’ve received lately imply that the only “good” American is a Christian. I have to wonder if “good” may also mean “white”. My outrage is tempered by my sorrow, my fear.

“Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Roman 13.9)

I wonder why I never see that in any of these emails.

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