Saturday, April 29, 2006

Unjustly Accused of Being a Traitor

Although I’m not a liberal, I take exception with e-mails I have received from so called patriots. For the record, I am a moderate.

Besides being peppered with insulting labels, there were direct accusations that I find totally unacceptable: That those of us Americans who are against the war in Iraq hate America and love America’s enemies.

The e-mail authors apparently supporters of the extreme right wing, equate America with our government in general and the Bush administration in particular. They also believe that to be a Christian one needs to blindly support the Republican Party and its agenda. Anyone else who doesn’t is a heathen and is going straight to hell.

Ergo, anyone who criticizes or disagrees with our leaders’ decisions hates his country and God, according to the rhetoric.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I would much rather lose my sight than betray my beloved America.

In reality, America is much more than elected and appointed officials in Washington DC and the policies they impose. America consists of our beautiful land, our people, our values and our laws, none of which I hate or blame for all our problems. America is also about struggle, mercy and compassion.

The fact is that in the United States, there is a great chasm between our governmental leaders and their constituents. If anger or blame is to be directed anywhere, it should be towards a system where Congressional approval ratings are 30 percent while Congressional re-election rates are 98 percent; where a “unitary executive” can claim the right to direct attacks on other countries at will, whether the motive is the possibility of future threat, securing access to energy reserves or diverting attention away from embarrassing personal affairs; and where the constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense” has taken the form of a standing army occupying permanent bases in the countries of enemies defeated generations ago.

Is it getting too hot in the kitchen? In America, we have the right to speak freely within the law. America is not nazi Germany nor is it Sadaam’s Iraq, where its nationals lived in fear of retribution if they spoke out against the government. Haven’t we’ve learned that lesson yet?

I do not hate America. I believe in the people of this country and the ideals contained in the Constitution. I believe in democracy and if necessary, die for my beloved country. But I am not afraid to voice my perspective on the obvious.
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